Hyundai gearing up for huge Super Bowl XLVI ad blitz

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Close-up of the hubcap of a Hyundai i45 Tourer. The Hyundai logo is visible in the center of the hubcap.

Hyundai is planning a huge advertising blitz during Super Bowl XLVI. (Photo Credit: CC BY/NRMA Motoring and Services/Flickr)

Hyundai is looking to make a big play come Super Bowl Sunday, reports the Detroit Free Press. The Korean automaker has struggled somewhat in the U.S. market, and it’s looking to change that with a Super Bowl XLVI multi-commercial advertising blitz Feb. 5, 2012, that may shake things up.

Hyundai’s touchdown dance

According to Hyundai’s president and CEO John Krafcik, while the automaker has done Super Bowl ads before, this year will be like nothing Hyundai has ever undertaken in the U.S. market. There will be approximately three minutes worth of commercials aired before and during the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, Feb. 5.

The breakdown for Hyundai’s commercial blitz is currently known, according to Bloomberg. First, there will be two or three pre-game commercials that will be aimed at the snack grazing, couch- or barstool-planted crowd. A 60-second spot will be presented right before game kickoff, and two additional commercials will air during the second half of the game.

For the 60-second commercial in particular, Krafcik is excited. But all the spots are predicted to come out winners for Hyundai.

“It gives me goosebumps,” he said.

Not just products and promotions

The art of the television commercial has come a long way, and Hyundai is looking to capitalize by having a bit more fun with the medium than in years past, without being “too cute.” Placing product and promotional programs front and center has been the automaker’s standard game plan, but Krafcik feels that times dictate that Hyundai break the mold.

“I think we’d like to be a little more memorable,” he said during a press conference.

An example of a recent memorable automotive ad that was exceedingly cute and perhaps less effective at moving product was last year’s Darth Vader commercial. Everyone who saw it remembers the costumed child who tries to control his dad’s car using the Force, but fewer people remember that the point was to sell Volkswagens.

Struggling to maintain

Hyundai has more than 94,000 private sector jobs in the U.S. and two ultra-modern assembly plants from a partnership with Kia, notes the Center for Automotive Research. However, despite the manufacturing presence, Hyundai has struggled to maintain inventory.

For example, while Hyundai Elantra compacts and Sonata midsize sedans are produced at maximum efficiency using current facilities, they’re typically purchased much more quickly than the competition. The result is that other potential buyers are left without the choice of Hyundai they desire.

“There is very little inventory in our dealerships,” for Elantra, Krafcik said. “We are selling on a just in time basis as the cars come in.”

2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid commercial


Bloomberg Businessweek

Detroit Free Press

New York Times

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