Hyundai Motor America has hired Culture Brands to serve as its African American agency of record, as the automaker seeks to improve its standing with Black buyers.
The Maryland-based shop claimed the account with a multi-year contract after a competitive review that involved five agencies. The hiring represents the first time Hyundai has partnered with a marketing agency dedicated to reaching Black buyers, says Angela Zepeda, chief marketing officer for Hyundai Motor America. During the review, the automaker only considered Black-owned agencies, she says. Zepeda also confirmed that Hyundai is currently in search of a dedicated Hispanic agency.
The agency moves by the nation’s seventh-largest automotive advertiser lend momentum to the cause of minority-owned, independent agencies as they seek to counteract holding company-owned general market agencies that have sought in recent years to bundle multicultural marketing with larger agreements with major clients. Hyundai has long used Innocean as its general market creative agency. Its media agency is Canvas Worldwide, which is a joint venture between Innocean and Horizon Media.