CMO Dean Evans shares how the carmaker builds out its social campaigns and offers insight on Hyundai’s new brand direction.
Hyundai pulled out all the stops for this year’s Super Bowl, airing a total of four Super Bowl ads, in addition to multiple teaser ads leading up to game day.
The brand’s Super Bowl campaign proved to be a hit, with three of its ads dominating YouTube’s list of the most watched Super Bowl spots. The day after Super Bowl, YouTube reported Hyundai’s “The Chase” was the No. 1 most popular Super Bowl ad on the site, followed by “First Date” at No. 4 and “Ryanville” at No. 6.
The three spots that ranked on YouTube’s top 10 list were part of Hyundai’s Super Bowl campaign to launch its new 2017 Elantra model. Hyundai also released a 60-second pregame ad that focused on its new brand direction.
“During our successful Super Bowl this year we saw a 92-percent increase in YouTube followers,” says Hyundai’s CMO Dean Evans. According to Evans, Hyundai uses a variety of social analytics to gauge how a campaign is performing — from social listening and competitive tracking down to engagement metrics for specific posts.
“We use this intelligence to form a plan based on what’s worked in the past and what can apply to the current campaign given what we know about the current Elantra target,” says Evans.
When asked about the social and digital channels used to support its Super Bowl campaign, Evans says Hyundai developed an integrated plan to support the Elantra’s launch.
“Our media strategy is focused with only a few primary partnerships, such that our efforts can be laser-focused, hyper-targeted and our optimization immediate,” says Evans, “For social media, we have a plan to drive demand utilizing targeted posts on Facebook and Twitter, with additional brand-building efforts on Instagram.”
Evans says his brand is seeing its highest engagement rates and the most growth on Instagram.
For Marketing Land’s latest CMO interview, Evans shares the steps his brand takes to build a social campaign around a new car launch, and why Hyundai is taking its brand in a new direction.
1. Consider the shopper and the consumer, be empathetic about their needs, not the needs of a KPI, a preconceived internal objective or a legacy measure.
2. Know your objectives and choose digital channels that best support those objectives. If the goal is driving web traffic, optimize toward the channels that have shown the highest click-through rates. Trying to stretch across too many channels or networks will only dilute your message.
3. Know your brand. Be authentic to your brand. Don’t try to be in places that don’t make sense for the sake of trying to be all things to all people.
4. Know your audience. In today’s marketing climate, there are vast amounts of data available. Use it to cater your messaging and calls to action to the audience you’re talking to.
Amy Gesenhues: To start, can you tell me about your role as Hyundai’s CMO and how your brand’s social channels are managed?
Dean Evans: As CMO, I’m responsible for all marketing activities for the carmaker in the United States. My marketing team is made of two major teams — marketing communications and customer communications and promotions.
Hyundai has an integrated approach to social media that includes marketing, PR and customer care. Our social followers are diverse, and each group involved in channel publishing and monitoring is an expert in its space at reaching its audience:
• Marketing is publishing and monitoring to support the Hyundai brand and vehicle promotion.
• PR is managing content that supports Hyundai’s public relations and announcements.
• Customer Care is providing one-on-one support in social with engagement and issue resolution.
Amy Gesenhues: How far in advance do you begin planning your social media and digital marketing efforts for a new car launch?
Dean Evans: As we take an omnichannel approach to our marketing efforts and look at media opportunities that support all consumers’ needs, we start preliminary planning for a vehicle launch at least nine to 12 months out.
As the reveal and launch dates get closer, a tactical plan is built based on the overall campaign strategy, media strategy, target and creative idea. Specific digital and social concepts are evaluated based on budget and objectives.
Amy Gesenhues: Did you explore any new social platforms for the Elantra launch?
Dean Evans: We’re always looking at new platforms and what they can bring to our overall social channel strategy.
In the case of Elantra, a core part of the Hyundai vehicle lineup, we’ve built a content plan that includes Facebook and Twitter, core channels with targeting power and effective traffic-driving products and some more engagement-focused platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
Amy Gesenhues: In addition to the 2017 Elantra campaign, Hyundai is currently taking its brand in a new direction. Can you share more about this new initiative?
Dean Evans: As Hyundai continues to grow, we wanted to make sure that the conversation we’re having with our prospective and loyal customers is still relevant and resonating.
We took a deep-dive look at our brand story over the past year or so and determined that we weren’t always sharing the part of ourselves that American car buyers might find interesting and different. We have such an incredible backstory to this company that most people don’t even know.
We were founded on the idea of literally doing better for people to lift society. That’s almost a direct quote from our founder. We want to do better and be better in everything that we do — it’s why we offer better vehicles.
So the new brand direction is simply meant to bring this idea to light. We want more people to know our story and why they should check out our better cars.
At Hyundai we’re obsessed with how we make things “better” and always follow that principle as our north star. Saying something new and unexpected in a segment (compact cars) littered with creative cliches and a sea of sameness is a necessity for survival, not a strategy.
Our philosophy with this launch — as it is with all brand work- – is to ask ourselves the hard questions. Only then can we differentiate ourselves and stand out in a crowded market.
This latest work challenges a 100-year-old concept that “new” is somehow the benchmark for success. That by simply reinventing a product and calling it “new” is somehow a job well done. At Hyundai, we’re obsessed with how we make things “better.”
If in the process of making something “better,” “new” comes along for the ride… then great. But being just “new” isn’t enough! It’s a straightforward and honest creative strategy that we think our customers — new and old — will enjoy, and one that we hope will disrupt the industry.
Amy Gesenhues: How do you hope the new brand direction will impact audiences?
Dean Evans: We are always looking to expand and diversify our customer base. We leverage a multi-channel strategy to drive awareness, engage intenders and capture leads. All cylinders firing in tandem. One voice, one brand.
Our hope is to be inclusive rather than exclusive. Without giving too much away, we hope the idea of “better” will come to take on new meaning for our customers and provoke a wider audience to start asking the same difficult questions we are.
The goal is always to grow current markets, but we think “better” has the capability to expand our POV and consumer’s understanding of Hyundai across the board. “Better” is the unshakable foundation beneath everything we do. So whether we are launching a new brand campaign or launching a new car, the hope is that all boats rise together.