SILVER :: Sustained Success
Events & Seasonal
Off To A Good Start
Not For Profit
Best Integrated Program
Automotive & DIY
Government & Advocacy
Canadian Success Story Outside of Canada
Success Despite the Recession
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.