Following up a 2017 Super Bowl postgame ad that was shot in real time, Hyundai in 2018 had grand plans to again make most of its spot on the fly, this time by surprising people walking into U.S. Stadium in Minneapolis on game day. But the automaker had to call a last-minute audible and film the entire ad in advance to skirt security concerns raised by the NFL and officials overseeing security.
The ad keeps the same general plot that was originally scripted by Hyundai and lead agency Innocean. It promotes a nonprofit group, Hyundai Hope on Wheels, that distributes a small portion of proceeds from every Hyundai vehicle purchased to institutions fighting childhood cancer. But the agency and brand had to scramble at the last minute to navigate logistical hurdles.
The original plan was to surprise pre-selected Hyundai owners walking into the stadium through what appeared to be regular security lines, pulling them aside to a room where they would meet with cancer survivors thanking them for their donations to the nonprofit via their vehicle purchase.
That is generally how the ad appears. But instead of getting people walking into the stadium, Hyundai filmed it in advance by catching people entering the "Super Bowl Experience" at the Minneapolis Convention Center, a weeklong event that ended Saturday featuring games, youth football clinics, merchandise and more.
Roughly 10 days before the game, Hyundai was informed by the NFL that its original idea was a no-go. "All of our creative ideas have to go through them first," a Hyundai spokesman said in an email. "The NFL works with all of the departments that are responsible for Super Bowl security, including DHS [Department of Homeland Security]. Because of that, the NFL knows the security plan and policy and was able to tell us that doing that element on game day wouldn't be possible."
"We had to adjust with what we are able to do," Eric Springer, chief creative officer at Innocean USA, told Ad Age. "The authenticity of having real owners being absolutely surprised by this message from the company, that to us was the important part." Hyundai Motor America Chief Marketing Officer Dean Evans said he was actually relieved when the game-day idea got shot down. It allowed for more "more time to breathe and really pull out a good film," he said.
The 2018 ad, no longer incorporating same-day footage, was released on just as the game began.
Hyundai shot nearly its entire 2017 ad during the Super Bowl, filming scenes in Houston's NRG Stadium and a military base in Poland. The ad, which aired post-game, showed military members being virtually reunited with family members who were attending the game.
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