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Hyundai Replaces Dad With Genesis in One of Two Super Bowl Spots

Hyundai Will Also Air Celebrity-Driven Elantra Ad in Second Half

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Madison Avenue has gotten better at portraying dads as more than bumbling dorks. But are Super Bowl TV viewers ready for My Dad the Car?

Steve Shannon
Steve Shannon

Hyundai Motor America is betting big bucks they are as it prepares for its seventh straight year of Super Bowl advertising, according to Steve Shannon, VP-marketing.

During the first of its two in-game commercials on Fox's telecast of Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2, Hyundai will portray its Genesis luxury sedan as the next best thing to the Dad whose preternatural sixth sense saved you from stitches when you were growing up.

"There's something about parents where they just know, 'My kid is just about to fall off the jungle gym,'" said Mr. Shannon. "'Or I know they're going to wander off in traffic. Or hit the mailbox with their bike."

That's where Hyundai will make a metaphorical connection, he said, between parents and the all-new Genesis that will be loaded with safety features when it goes on sale next year. The spot sells the idea that Genesis's "360-degree halo of safety" can help drivers avoid otherwise painful collisions. Just like dear old dad.

Airing in the second quarter, the 30-second spot, created by Innocean, Huntington Beach, Calif., opens with vignettes of a father saving his young son from otherwise painful accidents on playgrounds and ballfields.

Cut to the now 16-year old son driving the all-new Genesis with Dad in the passenger seat. Junior is not paying attention when a truck stops in front of him. But Genesis' radar-based automatic emergency braking system saves the day by bringing the vehicle to a complete stop.

A voiceover says: "Remember when only Dad had eyes in the back of his head? That was then. This is next. The all-new Genesis."

Hyundai's 30-second spot for the Elantra airing in the second half, meanwhile, will rely on "wackier and zanier" humor, said Mr. Shannon.

The spot, also from Innocean, shows a young Hollywood celebrity (who Mr. Shannon declined to name) flirting with a female Hollywood celebrity (who he also declined to name). The flirtatious duo exchange witty banter, followed by the comment, "Nice."

The payoff revolves around passenger in the male celebrity's car. The voiceover at the end says: "The new Elantra from Hyundai. Nice."

Said Mr. Shannon: "It's really funny, really amusing. There's some celebrity power -- which is not something we normally do. So we're excited about that. Should have some real good talk value. At the end of the day, it's a good car commercial because you see a lot of the car."

Fox's telecast of Super Bowl XLVIII is shaping up as another Car Bowl. Hyundai will join General Motors' Chevrolet, Audi, Jaguar and Kia among auto advertisers. Chrysler won't comment. But it would be a shock if the big Detroit car-maker didn't return to the big game.

Hyundai's sales grew 5% in November and 2% through the first 11 months of 2013, according to Automotive News Data Center.

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