Brand Reboot.

Ever see a campaign or a single ad that has stayed with you because it is “bad?’ Just sit around and watch TV with your out-of-the-industry friends. Some of them will cringe when they see ads they don’t like. Most will just downright say they hate the ad and grab the remote control. The same goes for online as well as any other media platform.

Gosh, I remember way back when Hyundais came to America. I was much younger then, so the cars intrigued me at first glance. Then came the integrated campaign. It was horrible. I don’t remember the exact words; you may. It went something like this, “So affordable you could buy two.” Automatically the intrigue turned to dismay. Who the heck wanted to be driving around in a cheap car anyhow?

As a consumer I can’t say I’m the norm when it comes to any form of advertising. If you are reading this you are probably in the same boat.

If I put my brand advertiser hat on, it is a whole different story. I’m always on the lookout for successful media integration. I see a lot of multiplatform means of brand advertising but the bulk of the campaigns seem haphazard at best. In a nutshell, retrofitting the same creative across multiple media does not make a campaign integrated. Please tell me you are nodding your head.

I won’t go on about all the bad ads that are splattered across media. I will, however, tip my hat to the folks at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Not sure if you have seen the agency’s recent work for Hyundai. Talk about a brand reboot. You may have seen the campaign that just ended, called, “Duh.” The ads mock summer sales ad that say they are a no-brainer.

Another campaign officially launches today. According to a company press release, this is the first major creative work by Hyundai’s national marketing and advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, which was hired this past spring. I’m told that there will be a series of ads, with the first campaign running for three weeks. When you do see the ads online, in print, out of home and on TV, you at first won’t even see the brand. One ad says, “The logo is here to tell you what the car is, not who you are.”

Ironically the new ads show no cars. Are they the anti-car car ads? The ads are copy-heavy, with language outlining what a car company should be and what makes a car well-made and a bit about the meaning of branding. The tagline is, “Think about it.” It’s tagged with the URL I must admit it throws you for a loop.

The next phases get a bit harder-hitting: “New technologies confirm: the best way to avoid an accident is to avoid an accident.” Then there’s “Shouldn’t a car have more airbags than cup holders?”

“The Hyundai brand has an opportunity to define itself in the eyes of the consumer,” said Jeff Goodby, co-chairman of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, quoted in a company press release. “We feel that the campaign will close the huge gap between the reality of Hyundai vehicles and the perceptions that consumers have about the brand.”

By Seana Mulcahy
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