In the automotive business, few marketing battles are as important—or intense—as those in the compact SUV segment. Brands including Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue have long used big-budget campaigns to stand out in what has become one of the hottest-selling categories in the entire industry.
Starting today, Hyundai is trying to muscle into the race with what it describes as the company’s largest-ever ad campaign for the Tucson, which has lagged in the segment.
Ads from Innocean feature a range of celebrities—including Jason Bateman, Mindy Kaling and National Basketball Association star Kawhi Leonard—who will soon be popping up in TV and digital ads as part of a marketing blitz for the newly redesigned 2022 model. Hyundai and its media agency Canvas also lined up integrations with National Geographic, Fox’s “Masked Singer” and ESPN’s “30 for 30,” as well as buys on TikTok and plenty of outdoor advertising.
“You will see us absolutely everywhere,” promises Angela Zepeda, chief marketing officer at Hyundai Motor America, calling the 2022 Tucson “one of the most important launches in Hyundai’s history.” She declined to reveal total spending but confirmed it was the automaker’s largest campaign ever. “Honestly, Tucson has not gotten the emphasis with dollars in the past, and we really need to raise awareness with the vehicle,” she says.
The effort, called “Question Everything,” includes a TV ad directed by Bryan Buckley that shows Bateman, Kaling, Leonard and other celebs pondering things like “Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?” and “if you enjoy wasting time, is it really wasted?” The spot ends with a scene showing Hyundai designers taking the same inquisitive approach to the Tucson, while spotlighting one of the vehicle’s unique features: Headlights assimilated seamlessly within the grille.