Hyundai ‘drops’ the new Santa Fe with sneaker-worthy hype

New spot from Director X is latest installment of the ‘OKAY Hyundai’ series, launched in 2021 with Culture Brands

Published On
Mar 15, 2024
A man stepping out of the all new Hyundai Santa Fe

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Hyped-up releases are often anticipated in sneaker culture. Whether by sneakerheads, hypebeasts, resellers, collectors or the everyday consumer, a drop is not to be missed, regardless of the price tag, the line queue at a retailer, or even online.

But when you’re too slow to catch up with the frenzy, what is the next best thing?

In Hyundai’s latest campaign,  the item to cop next is the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe.

The 30-second spot below, directed by Julien Christian Lutz, aka Director X, was created by Culture Brands and produced by Black-owned production company FELA. Vince Staple’s tune “Big Fish'' soundtracks the spot, which follows a man who narrowly misses the latest sneaker drop through BrandBlack, the athleisure brand.

As a friend points out his missed opportunity over FaceTime, our protagonist confidently retorts, “I’ve got something even better. I’m on my way.”


“The Drop” is part of the “OKAY Hyundai” series released in 2021 alongside Culture Brands. The new campaign aims to delve deeper into Black narratives. By featuring diverse talent prominently, the campaign seeks to strengthen Hyundai's connection with multicultural audiences.

In this case, the “drop” refers to the automaker’s latest iteration of the Santa Fe vehicle. “Did I lie?” the protagonist asks his friends, who nod in approval as he exits the vehicle. “Yeah, it’s a better drop!”

“This campaign represents an ongoing exploration of the rich tapestry of culture,” said Eunique Jones Gibson, founder and chief creative officer at Culture Brands. “By pairing relatable creative and talent with cultural icons like Director X and BrandBlack, we continue to authentically capture the vibrant essence of our community through the ‘OKAY Hyundai’ campaign and showcase how the new 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe integrates within it.”

In 2023, Hyundai's Santa Fe emerged as a top choice among African American consumers in the compact SUV segment, consistently ranking in the top three for this demographic, according to a statement.

Hyundai Motor America hired Culture Brands, the Maryland-based agency founded in 2017, as its first African American agency of record in 2021. The partnership launched the “Okay Hyundai" campaign, promoting the automaker's Tucson Plug-in Hybrid and the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid as part of an initiative to appeal to Black consumers.

“It's imperative to break new ground. With ‘The Drop,’ we’re driving the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe into the limelight through an intentional and fresh cultural perspective, aligning our creative ingenuity with the dynamic experiences of Hyundai's ever-evolving consumer base,” said Angela Zepeda, chief marketing officer of Hyundai Motor America. Zepeda added that the “campaign isn’t just about showcasing a vehicle; it’s about setting the pace for a vibrant fusion of automotive innovation and culture.”

"The Drop" will be promoted through various channels, including digital platforms, influencer partnerships and branded content. A 15-second version will be live as well for broadcast and digital channels.