Hyundai Motor America has certainly beefed up its tie-in with college football, which the automaker said has some of the world’s most passionate fans.
Hyundai dipped its toe in the water back in 2010, when it inked a 4-year deal to be the title sponsor of the Sun Bowl with El Paso, Texas area dealers. Last year, the automaker upped the ante by sponsoring 15 schools, doing 64 on-site, stadium displays, print ads, online and local media support, as well as in-game ads in 13 games across ABC networks, including ESPN and ESPN2.
Interpublic Group of Co.’s Initiative+ is Hyundai’s USA media agency of record and has done a great job of integrating all the pieces here.
This season Hyundai is supporting 25 programs and staging 151 events at college stadiums across the nation. The automaker is in its second season as presenting sponsor of 12 of ESPN’s “Thursday Night Kickoff” broadcasts. The 2013 model Santa Fe is the main vehicle tied to the effort, with a modified “Ultimate Tailgate” version of the compact crossover model making the rounds at games.
By the way, the Santa Fe is also the sponsor of ABC TV’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. Hyundai proclaims Santa Fe “the official car of Helping Parents 2 Rock,”a tip of the hat to the nightly musical performers on Kimmel’s outdoor stage. The new Santa Fe is getting plenty of plug on Kimmel
GM’s Pontiac brand was the first sponsor of Kimmel’s stage, then called the Pontiac Garage, but Bud Light beer took over that slot several years ago.
Hyundai is airing ads during ESPN’s pre-game football shows as well as in games, including a presence in 25 games on Thursdays and Saturdays across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC.
Whew. But wait- there’s more!
The automaker is working with Chicago-based sports marketer expert Intersport for a 4-part series spotlighting the best of the current college football season. The latest installment of “Hyundai Presents College Football Uncut” will air this Saturday, November 16 on CBS at 2:30 pm ET. Smartly, Hyundai , cut deals to also make the series available on Hulu.com, Amazon and Sony PlayStation.
“College football fans wear their colors more proudly than any other fan base,” said Steve Shannon, VP-marketing at Hyundai. “Reaching fans not only through TV but also at stadiums where that passion is rooted gives us a more genuine connection to the sport and those that love it as much as we do.”
As if all this isn’t enough, Hyundai is also in the midst of a sweepstakes, asking college football fans to post photos that emulate their team loyalty to hyundaishowyour loyalty.com. Check out the :30 spot from Hyundai’s ad agency and corporate affiliate, Innocean Worldwide Americas in Huntington Beach, California, promoting the contest
Is it just me or does the narrator Jeff Bridges saying Hyundai’s fans show their loyalty by “just buying another Hyundai” sound too boastful? I realize the video is touting Hyundai’s loyalty, but it comes across as too smug.
Hyundai has been down this smug road before – not once but twice since it started selling cars in the US in 1986. Disaster resulted in both instances. So it’s scary to see some echos of Hyundai’s hubris bowing its ugly head again.
Also, sounding smug in advertising is not a good place to be after Hyundai’s embarrassing admission that it overstated fuel economy ratings on its vehicles. After talks with the EPA, which certifies mpg for new cars, Hyundai is voluntarily dropping the mpg on some 900,000 (or 35 %) of 2011 through 2013 model year vehicles sold through October 31 and is reimbursing owners.
Meantime, rabid college football fans are posting like mad on Hyundai’s Facebook and Twitter pages for the sweeps. One lucky fan will win a new 2013 Santa Fe, which the spot doesn’t even mention. The other prize, also not mentioned in the spot, is a two-night trip for 4 people to a college football game.
The only prize that IS mentioned in the commercial is a chance to be in an upcoming Hyundai commercial.
THAT will be interesting.
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