In March 2020, Daniel Maynez’s career took an unexpected turn. He had just been hired by Hyundai to work on auto shows, but with the pandemic shutting down events, he had to pivot quickly. “To say that I was a little frightened is an understatement,” said Maynez, who had previously held experiential jobs for automakers at agencies including Hyundai shop Innocean.
Daniel Maynez has improved Hyundai’s multicultural marketing
Hyundai kept him on in a multicultural marketing role—which turned out to be a great move for both Maynez and the automaker. Now Hyundai’s manager of multicultural marketing, Maynez, 37, has helped the brand sharpen its outreach to Black and Hispanic audiences. That has included hiring Maryland-based Culture Brands as Hyundai’s first-ever African-American agency of record in 2021. The shop is behind efforts such as “Okay Hyundai”—which leveraged a popular expression in Black communities—and “Choose Yours,” which played off the “pick a card” TikTok trend.
Maynez was also involved in the 2022 hiring of Lopez Negrete as Hyundai’s first dedicated U.S. Hispanic marketing agency of record in several years.
The hiring of the two agencies was part of a decision by Hyundai to boost its multicultural outreach in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd in 2020, which put a spotlight on social injustice.
“From a multicultural perspective, you really need to meet the consumer where they are. And authenticity is key,” Maynez said. “I grew up in a Hispanic household and I would have loved to have seen some of the work that I’m putting out today as a child.”
If you could have dinner with one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Steve Jobs by far. In my opinion, he’s the most revolutionary person in our lifetime who had a clear and positive vision of this product and had the ability to implement and manifest his dream into reality which we still use today with no end in sight.
What are the top two social media sites you use on a regular basis?
So, oddly enough I don’t consume traditional social media or have accounts on the popular platforms (X, IG, FB or TT). They are a time suck IMO and I’m not a big fan. I do, however, spend some time on YouTube or LinkedIn if I’m searching for specific professional content or anything DIY.
What’s currently on your bedside reading list?
I’m not a big book reader if I’m being honest. Unfortunately, my mind and brain have the tendency to race and it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to really sink my teeth into a good book. I am, however, a big online reader; my top publications I regularly pay attention to are Automotive News for industry insight, Ad Age for top brand and consumer marketing and advertising reads along with HuffPost or Apple News to keep myself informed on global stories and top headlines.
What was the last show you binge-watched?
Prime, Peacock, Paramount+—you name it, I probably have it. I am a lighthearted/wholesome content consumer, I think the last real series I truly binged (and have done a few times since first watching) was “Schitt’s Creek.” Also, I tend to follow some of what’s trending, I binged “Beef” because I think Ali Wong is hilarious, and I really enjoyed “The Watcher” because something about the psychological elements had me very drawn in. Also, as much as I hate to admit, I do watch quite a bit of reality TV, but I will refrain from sharing which ones exactly 😊.
At what age do you hope to retire?
I think the perfect retirement age for me would be 55. In my mind, depending on the career path and opportunities I have paved, should I find myself in a comfortable position, I would be able to take some time to dial into my family, travel more and allow myself to feel fully disconnected. As I type this out, I am thinking that I know myself too well and know for a fact I would get bored after a few years and could see myself returning as a consultant in some capacity.