Hyundai Motor scores big with Super Bowl ad

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Hyundai Motor scores big with Super Bowl ad

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Left: A scene from Hyundai Motor’s commercial “A Netter Super Bowl” that shows Cpl. Trista Strauch of the 4th Infantry Division watching the Super Bowl at a U.S. military base in Poland while her family watched in the United States. Right, the Airbnb commerical “We Accept” sent a message of diversity and acceptance. [JOONGANG ILBO]

“Football is Family” is the slogan of the National Football League. Its website even has video interviews with players like Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams who says he dyes his hair pink not only because it’s his daughter’s favorite color but also to raise awareness for breast cancer.

The family theme was evident in TV commercials that ran during last weekend’s Super Bowl matchup between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.

As much enthusiasm surrounds America’s most celebrated annual game, the hype over the commercials aired during the game is arguably just as high, which is one of the reasons companies competitively roll out their best ideas for ads this time of year.

It is estimated that more than 100 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide watched the game.

Hyundai Motor has been airing commercials during the Super Bowl since 2008 but decided against it in 2015 on the grounds that it didn’t have new models to introduce. Then in 2016, the Korean automaker re-entered the game with another Super Bowl commercial. The last two commercials were focused on family. In 2014, the “Dad’s Sixth Sense” commercial featuring footage of fathers saving their children in split seconds from accidents was highly praised. The 2016 commercial “First Date” featured comedian Kevin Hart humorously tracking his daughter’s date and appearing everywhere they went through a car-find system.

But this year, Hyundai’s ad focused more on emotions than humor by emphasizing family and patriotism.

Filmed like a documentary, the commercial “Better Super Bowl” starts on a U.S. military base in Zagan, Poland. Several U.S. soldiers watching the Super Bowl on a big screen are taken into a room where they are rejoined with their families back home and watch the game as if they are in the same place as their relatives through a virtual reality system.

The production company Innocean Worldwide filmed the footage on Super Bowl Sunday and ran it right after the game. In fact at the start of the commercial where it introduced the location of the base, it mentioned it was filmed four hours prior.

Hyundai Motor is also an NFL official sponsor until 2019.

The year’s Super Bowl rating was 49 percent, which means about half of Americans watched the commercials. In recent years, ad spot prices have skyrocketed. When the first Super Bowl was televised in 1967 the 30-second ad spot was valued at $42,000. This year it’s $5 million.

Although the ads run just once during the game, the commercial effect is said to be huge. After the game, there are rankings as to which company created the best commercials. The commercials are also seen worldwide via YouTube.

This year, Hyundai Motor, Airbnb and Coca Cola commercials received the most positive reviews.

Although many of the commercials focused on humor and emotional themes featuring high-profile celebrities from Morgan Freeman to Justin Bieber, this year was different in that they sent a message of acceptance and openness in response to Donald Trump’s policies.

Airbnb aired a commercial that stressed how the world becomes more beautiful through acceptance of people, regardless of their origins, who they are or their religious beliefs.

Coca Cola ran an ad of Americans singing the national anthem in different languages and Budweiser featured a commercial that showed the story of the company’s founder Adolphus Busch’s immigration to the U.S. amid prejudice.

84 Lumber, in its commercial “The Entire Journey,” showed a mother and daughter traveling across Mexico toward the border with the U.S. to find a huge wall standing between them, but soon realize that there’s a door that help them cross over.


BY JUNG JAE-WON AND LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]

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