Hyundai Provides Food for Thought

DETROIT Hyundai’s new brand campaign launches Monday, but will not mention the brand in hopes of deflecting what it has called a misperception of Hyundai as a cut-rate automaker.

The two-tiered “Think about it” push, via Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, will begin with two 15-second broadcast spots during ESPN’s Monday Night Football and network shows, and print ads in Time and Newsweek.

The first phase, which will run through the 28th of this month, will feature creative with no Hyundai badge, although the brand is discussed by name in the print copy.

The second phase of the campaign begins Sept. 29 and runs to the end of the year. That creative will include the badge.

One of the TV spots that will run Monday, “Airbag,” asks viewers, “Should a car have more air bags than cup-holders?” Another, “Foreign,” asks, “How foreign is a car company that makes most of its cars in America?” A total of eight 15-second spots will run through the duration of the campaign.

Print will also run in lifestyle and business publications. Billboards will begin showing up in phase two of the campaign.

All of the creative for the campaign directs consumers to a Web site, think-about-it.com.

Hyundai research has found that over 50 percent of consumers tune out ads because of various negative connotations, a source said.

“With this creative, we have a better chance to engage the consumer before that negative connection,” the source said.

Hyundai’s sales are even with last year’s through August, per Autodata. Hyundai spent $245 million on ads through June, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, and $585 million on ads on 2006.