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smart advantage

SILVER :: Sustained Success
SILVER :: Automotive & DIY
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OVERVIEW: Hyundai catches the mood for recessionary times.

SITUATION ANALYSIS: During the recession of 2008-2010, few categories were as brutalized as automotive. In 2008, sales declined 17% and in 2009 they were down another 10.7%. Toyota and Honda suffered monthly sales drops in the double digits and GM and Chrysler went into bankruptcy. Facing this, Hyundai was well-placed from a price standpoint but during its 25 years in Canada it had also accumulated baggage. Globally, Hyundai had addressed this by improving quality and design. But Hyundai still suffered a lingering image deficit.

STRATEGY & INSIGHT: In Spring 2008, for those with foresight, the signs of an impending major economic downturn in Canada started to appear. This created an opportunity to position Hyundai as the right brand for the times, away from conspicuous consumption, and towards a new kind of status-characterized by common sense, pragmatism and not living beyond your means. This was captured in the ideas of "The smart choice" and "Smart is in."

EXECUTION: The campaign started in July 2008, and ran over the next 24 months. It involved television, newspaper and/or magazine, online display (lifestyle and auto sites), paid search, search engine optimization, experiential media and out-of-home. In a break with tradition it also included a combination of Tier 1 brand advertising and Tier 2 retail TV. The first 15 seconds of these spots communicated that "Smart is in," showing that Hyundai drivers get noticed and are respected. The last 15 seconds featured the retail offer, communicated as the "Smart Advantage." Other innovations included an environmental program called the Clean Air Commitment which encouraged Canadians to trade in their older, polluting vehicles for a new fuel-efficient Hyundai.

RESULTS: or 2009, Hyundai sales were up 28% in a market down 11% - close to a 40-point swing. From the start of the "Smart" campaign through Spring 2010 share has also jumped from 4.9% to 8.5%.

CAUSE & EFFECT: Hyundai is an inexpensive car, but the sheer scale of the growth indicates that the "smart" message has been a driving force, especially given that media spend was down.

Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.
Steve Kelleher - President & CEO
John Vernile - VP Sales and Marketing
Rob Marner - Marketing Director
Peter Kim - Executive Coordinator
Bryan Park - Marketing Coordinator

Bensimon Byrne
Jack Bensimon - President
David Rosenberg - Creative Director
John McDougall, Joe Musicco
- Associate Creative Directors
Bart Smith, Tim Zimmerman - Art Directors
Mandip Salh - Writer
James Grant - Group Account Director
Daryn Sutherland, Mark Berardo
- Account Directors
Mark Hewitt, Rick Payne
- Account Supervisors
Ranjan Gill, Stephanie English
- Account Managers
Tatania Tucker - Media Director
Spiro Paravantes - Media Supervisor

Jon Toews - Digital Creative Director
Ulyssis Crisostomo, Chris Avgerinos
- Digital Art Directors
Jessie Sorell - Digital Writer
David Girolomi - Digital Account Director
Kara McIntosh - Digital Project Manager
Amanda Alvaro - Narrative Advocacy Media
Lindsay Mattick-Davidson - Narrative Advocacy Media
Rick Byun - Narrative Advocacy Media