Hyundai Shifts Gears to Bring Attention to Its IONIQ Electric Vehicle Launch

Facing Covid-19 restrictions, the auto maker pivots to highlight sustainability

It’s an interesting challenge: How do you launch a new car brand in the middle of a global pandemic?

With tight restrictions on large-scale events and travel, traditional motor shows and press conferences are now impossible. Car enthusiasts and petrol heads don’t know where to turn, as the 2020 motoring events calendar has been thrown up in the air, and even the famous Geneva Motor Show, originally scheduled for March 2021, has been canceled.

So, how can a major car brand like Hyundai stand out and attract attention to the launch of its latest electric vehicle (EV) sub-brand, IONIQ? It was a unique challenge requiring an equally unique solution. Hyundai demonstrated its bold thinking through a series of well-coordinated collaborations and content, the first of which is the film, “I’m in Charge.”

The film, which takes its title from the campaign tagline,  explores the notion that we are all in charge of our tomorrow, and every one of us can make a difference for a better and more sustainable future. It delivers a clear statement that the launch of IONIQ enables people to make their own changes, putting the power in their hands.

Recent research has shown that global interest in EVs is rising, and the launch of the IONIQ brand for dedicated EV models reinforces the company’s commitment to clean technology, as well as reflecting Hyundai’s ongoing transformation as a smart mobility solution provider with zero-emission solutions. The new electric vehicle line-up starts a new chapter in the era of electrified transportation, with IONIQ offering a suite of individualized EV experiences. Under the IONIQ brand, IONIQ will introduce three dedicated EV models over the coming years, starting with the IONIQ 5, a mid-size SUV, launching in 2021.

The launch of the IONIQ brand for dedicated electrical vehicle (EV) models reinforces the company’s commitment to clean mobility

Hoping to resonate with a younger audience, coined the “Sustainable Socials” who are inspired by innovation and driven by social consciousness, “I’m in Charge” features real people who champion sustainability. From Debra, a Kenyan actress and model, to Kevin, a dancer from Paris, the global cast was selected because their individual values aligned with the brand. Long-time Hyundai partners, global pop superstars BTS, also make up part of the ensemble.

“I’m in Charge” speaks to Hyundai’s belief that it is crucial that brand partnerships focus on values vs. product and are long-term to genuinely engage potential customers, create lasting impact, increase brand value and sustain loyalty over time.

Hyundai has demonstrated that, although motor shows and press conferences are the industry standard  for car brands looking to make an announcement or launch a new fleet of cars, it pays to think outside of the box. Through its message that people can change the world for the better, “I’m in Charge” and the impending arrival of the IONIQ line both highlight that a new era is coming for motorists, one in which they will feel more empowered, more connected and more environmentally responsible. “We can all share positive energy,” says the film’s voiceover, and that’s the real power the new IONIQ will deliver to people.

‘I’m in Charge’ will run across all CNN and BBC international channels, Korea’s own terrestrial network, as well as across Hyundai’s worldwide digital and social channels. In London, it also will be shown on Piccadilly Circus’s out-of-home screens in November.

Wonhong Cho is the EVP of the Hyundai Motor Company. As both the global CMO and the chief customer experience officer, Cho is responsible for the global brand strategy, marketing activities and creative works of the company.