Hyundai and its agencies are currently nailing down the logistics of several “major chapters” in its year-long partnership with Disney, although it is still in its “early days,” emphasized Angela Zepeda, chief marketing officer of Hyundai Motor America, who signed on as CMO three years ago after a stint as an executive at Innocean, Hyundai’s agency of record. “It’ll be a year’s worth of work coming out with them. We’re working through that creative process right now.”
Those “chapters” will eventually culminate “in the ultimate celebration of the anniversary date in the fall of 2023,” said Zepeda, who declined to offer further details.
Disney’s 100th birthday will officially be celebrated on Oct. 16, 2023, a century after Walt Disney and his older brother Roy first established the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in Los Angeles in 1923.
Tough advertising choices
Once a Super Bowl stalwart that aired a commercial in almost every game in the 2010s, Hyundai—the first car brand to ever win USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter with its “First Date” spot in 2016—has since shifted its advertising priorities away from the so-called Big Game.
The company has chosen to sit out the game for the past two years, and will again be absent from Super Bowl LVII when it occurs in February 2023.
“As a CMO, it’s still the biggest platform of the day. But the car industry is still fragile in a lot of ways,” said Zepeda, suggesting that while Hyundai wants to undertake “big things” as part of its yearlong Disney sponsorship deal, picking and choosing which tentpoles to focus on “are tough decisions with the company’s CEO and financial team.” Ad buying patterns for auto brands have been disrupted by supply chain issues, causing inventory challenges.