Hyundai Push Not for Classical-Music Purists

Carmaker 'Remixes' Beethoven, Other Composers to Promote Sales Event

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DETROIT ( -- Beethoven would be rolling over in his grave if he could hear his Symphony No. 5 "remixed" for Hyundai Motor America's latest sale.
That's because Hyundai's version of the song, along with seven other classics, contains a single lyric: "Duh."

TV, newspapers, bumper stickers
Hyundai's "Big Duh Sales Event" breaks today on national and spot broadcast TV, newspapers, bumper stickers and online in work from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. "It's based on the idea that it's a no-brainer to pick a Hyundai," said Jeff Goodby, co-chairman and chief creative office of the Omnicom Group shop.

Chris Perry, senior national manager-marketing communications at the automaker, said the blitz is "friendly, approachable and pokes fun at traditional car-sales-event advertising."

The remixed songs can be seen on The site promises prospects who test-drive a Hyundai will get a free CD of all eight remixed "Duh" songs. The automaker said consumers will also be able to create their own "Duh" songs online.

The sales event runs through Sept. 4 and offers "bonus cash" on existing rebates, Hyundai said. Sonata buyers will get an extra $500 on top of a $2,000 cash rebate. The sale marks the first rebates on the new seven-passenger Veracruz, which was launched earlier this year at a base suggested retail price of $26,995.

Prices climbing
A Hyundai dealer, who asked not to be named, lamented that the brand's sticker prices have been creeping up in recent years, making it more difficult to go up against rival Toyota.

Data from J.D. Power's PIN unit shows Hyundai's average sticker prices are closing the gap with Toyota. Hyundai's average asking price (including customer rebates) rose from $16,939 per vehicle in 2005 to $19,505 this year through July 15. In the same period, the gap between Hyundai and Toyota's stickers shrunk from $7,185 to $4,603, PIN found.

Hyundai said it had sold 236,595 vehicles in the U.S. through June, flat compared with the first half of 2006. The automaker spent $104 million in U.S. measured media in the first quarter and $533 million last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
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