Hyundai Sends a Girl’s Message of Love to Her Astronaut Dad Watching From Space

Great stunt with a human touch

A lot of brands attempt space-related stunts. But for all the wonder inherent in the heavens, many of these campaigns forget that just being up there isn't enough. You need a human connection for any of it to matter to viewers. (This is why Felix Baumgartner's Red Bull stunt was such a juggernaut—it was all about testing what it means to be human. It's also why a lot fewer people cared when Jose Cuervo mixed a margarita in space.)

Hyundai just released its own little space movie made by Innocean Worldwide, and it's a great addition to the category. The automaker found a 13-year-old girl from Houston whose father is an astronaut. He's away a lot, and she misses him. So, Hyundai orchestrated a sweet and pretty otherworldly stunt—using a fleet of Hyundai Genesis sedans to write a giant version of her message of love, in her own handwriting, across Nevada's Delamar Dry Lake, so her dad could see it from the International Space Station.

It's a pretty grand production. The resulting image—almost three and a half square miles in total—has been approved by Guinness World Records as the largest tire track image ever made. There's also a pretty extensive online tie-in at

Predictably, the film stumbles only when it tries to explicitly tie back to the Hyundai brand. (The on-screen line "Your stories inspire our innovative thinking" is just silly and should have been cut.) The vehicles speak for themselves, as they nicely become the instrument that makes the whole thing possible. (If you must know more, the press materials say the stunt "required a vehicle with outstanding engine performance, precise handling, a proven powertrain, and excellent driving stability to cope with the rough surface while creating the elaborate message.")

It's not meant to be a hard sell, though. Scott Noh, head of the overseas marketing group for Hyundai Motor Company, is right when he says the video is mostly about "demonstrating our caring vision to our customers."

See the behind-the-scenes below.