Jason Bateman plays an elevator operator in Hyundai's Super Bowl ad that pitches its "Shopper Assurance" program, which seeks to modernize the car-buying experience.
The ad, released today, compares car buying to dreaded activities like getting a root canal, taking the middle seat of an airplane, or delivering "the talk" to your kids. In the ad, car shopping occupies the bottom floor, but Hyundai positions its retail experience as superior by zooming the elevator up.
Shopper Assurance, which was launched in late 2017, includes flexible test drives in which cars are delivered directly to consumers, more transparent pricing posted on dealer websites, and streamlined purchasing in which buyers can complete paperwork online, rather than at dealers.
The 60-second ad, by Innocean USA, will run in the first quarter of Sunday's game.
By going for laughs, the ad takes a much different tone than Hyundai's approach for the previous two Super Bowls. Last year the automaker plugged its charity that fights childhood cancer. In 2017 it paid tribute to military troops stationed overseas.
Dean Evans, chief marketing officer at Hyundai Motor America, says the brand went with humor over a tear-jerker because it better fits the ad's topic. "There is no crying your way to a better Shopper Assurance," he joked in an interview. "But just reading society tea leaves, we also thought after two years of very somber messages, and a very somber environment we are in today, it was probably best for us to be in the Super Bowl and make people laugh."