Hyundai’s Latest Foray Falls Flat

NEW YORK Staring out the window of an airplane can inspire deep thoughts, but how often does that quiet contemplation lead you to think about a car brand? A new Hyundai spot from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners opens on a middle-aged man in a window seat staring at the maze of knotted highways below him. A voiceover, presumably of his inner dialogue, shares his musings about the millions of people below, as the perspective moves closer to the ground. A quiet piano track gently pushes the serene imagery along as the narrator explains, “Just outside the window there are millions of people; 3 million politicians, 10 million vegetarians … ” Narration then makes the leap to the reason we should be watching: There are “30 million people who just might know something you don’t.” A shot of a Hyundai on the road cuts to black as the onscreen copy suggests, “30 million people can’t be wrong,” and leads viewers to the brand’s Web site. The reasoning is sound enough: If 30 million people know something that I didn’t, I’d be curious to find out what it is. But the point is, 30 million people can be wrong. And they have been. Besides, isn’t it more compelling to identify yourself as a leader rather than a follower? The spot attempts to pique curiosity enough to lead people to the Web site, where they can get specific information about the brand and its models. For me, a move-with-the-masses pitch just isn’t enough.