Hyundai Kicks Off Genesis Super Bowl Ads

Hyundai will launch two 30-second spots during the 2009 Super Bowl, touting its new luxury Genesis coupe. The automaker also will switch creative duties from lead agency Goody, Silverstein & Partners to World Marketing Group.

Hyundai’s marketing chief Joel Ewanick dismissed reports that the company has cut Goodby, San Francisco, loose, and said the agency will serve Hyundai “well into 2009” on various Web marketing chores.

“This whole thing has been blown way out of proportion,” Ewanick said. “Yes, we are going to transition to our international partner World Marketing Group, which already manages our media buys. But we are going to continue to work with [Goodby] for some time.”

The agency switch comes on the heels of Hyundai’s new Genesis campaign, which is in the hands of Goody, as it handles creative for the Super Bowl spots. (Hyundai did not disclose content of the ads.) Luxury coupe Genesis is considered a risk for the Hyundai brand, which is known for lower priced cars. Ewanick said Hyundai’s Super Bowl spot last year did well and that a Super Bowl presence again next year makes sense.

Goodby will continue working with Hyundai for at least seven more months, Ewanick said. “But we are now ready to take advantage of our global growth, and we would like a global agency to handle that.” World Marketing Group, like Hyundai’s parent office, is based in South Korea.

Ewanick also disputed reports that the Genesis is selling poorly, and said that it will meet its goal of 8,000 units sold in the U.S. this year. The Genesis, which is compared in ads to BMW and Mercedes, had sold 1,826 units through August.

Hyundai, with U.S. headquarters in Fountain Valley, Calif., spent $155 million on measured media through June, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The brand’s sales were down 3.8% this year, while the industry overall has seen sales dip 11.2% through August, per Autodata, Woodcliff Lake, N.J.