Hyundai Gets Priorities Straight

The Rich ards Group positions Hyundai as the car driven by “winners at life” in a $75 million-plus fourth-quarter campaign that premieres on Thursday.

The Dallas shop’s first campaign for the Fountain Valley, Calif., car maker since it won the business in May consists of 12 commercials.

The effort kicks off with a 60-second corporate branding spot, a montage of life mo ments ranging from the light hearted—one couple romps on the beach, another takes a vacation pic—to the sentimental, such as sending a kid off to college. Voice over phrases such as, “When you choose a different definition of wealth” and “When you know what really matters” lead to, “You win.”

The tagline is, “Win.”

The launch spot will run for a month. Four dealer commercials also break this week, in addition to three Hispanic-market spots from Dieste Har mel & Partners in Dallas. The campaign also in cludes point-of-sale, radio and print, which breaks in national publications next month.

In December, a 30-second version of the anthem spot launches, along with seven product-specific 30-second spots that continue the “Win” theme. In one, for the XG350 sedan, a mom turns on a seat warmer for her daughter, who’s coming from ice-skating practice. The voiceover says, “When you do more than you have to, you win.”

“What America is about these days is, sure, getting the most out of your money, but also get ting the most out of life: living well, having your priorities straight,” said Richards account planning director Roger Baxter.

“The idea is that Hyundai owners are winners at life,” said agency principal Dale Hruby, who heads the account management team. The theme was one of two concepts Rich ards pitched during the Hyundai review.

Hyundai hopes the ads will change a widely held perception that its cars are poor performers. The previous campaign, from Bates USA West in Ir vine, Calif., had the tagline “Driving is believing.” That work was too “apol ogetic and had a challenger men tality,” said Paul Sellers, director of marketing communications for the client.

Sellers said Hyun dai plans to spend $200 million in media in 2003. Hyun dai spent $170 million on ads in 2001 and $86 million through July of this year, according to CMR.

Hyundai’s sales are up 14.2 percent so far this year, to 260,472 units, the company said.