With the launch of the new Santa Fe line, Korean automaker Hyundai is turning to lifestyle marketing in hopes that its new SUV becomes the defacto family car, no matter how one defines family.
The campaign intertwines five different family storylines that are consistent throughout digital, TV, and print.
There’s no focus on the vehicle’s specs in this campaign, and that is a relief from the testosterone-fueled product features approach to most car ads. However, the family sketches can annoy in their own right.
The cute little girl wants her monster to ride along. How many parents have been in this situation with their young child? Depending on your point of view and how many children you have, the girl is making a rather innocent request, no matter how inconvenient it is to fulfill. The more critical observer might roll her eyes at the brand-sponsored celebration of another set of parents who are completely under their child’s spell.
To make sure drivers with no kids (yet) can see themselves in the Sante Fe, the campaign also features alternate portraits of family life.
According to a brand representative, “Hyundai Motor Company draws the faces of modern families through gender mainstreaming; the goal is not to create a buzz leveraging equal rights but to establish Hyundai as a brand that serves and acknowledges the makeup of many types of families.”
Does any of this bring the customer closer to a test drive? Time will tell, but it does make sense to help people identify with a certain kind of vehicle. You may be a German sedan person, or an American pickup truck driver. Hyundai wants its new SUV to help trigger family-time emotions and move you to buy into the lifestyle. This appeal isn’t about keeping up with the Joneses, it’s about becoming the Joneses.