How do cars attract customers?

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How do cars attract customers?

LEE DONG-HYUN
The author is the deputy industry 1 team editorof the JoongAng Ilbo.


Hyundai Motor has released a face-lifted version of its sports utility vehicle Santa Fe. After a test drive, I found the latest version appealing despite the higher price tag. Convenience and driving comfort were worth the money.

The 1997 song “Family” by Lee Seung-hwan runs as the background music for the ad for the new car. After a hard day of work, the father returns home and peeks into his children’s room. Looking lovingly at them, he smiles and murmurs, “Since you’ve come to me, I cannot afford to be sick.”

Hyundai Motor Group makes good ads. In a TV commercial during the final round of the Super Bowl in January, it showed off the smart parking skills of the new Sonata. Hyundai’s witty ad featuring Chris Evans from Marvel’s Avengers films remotely parking his car seamlessly in a narrow spot won the 2020 New York Ad Festival.

But the emotional Santa Fe ad was somehow disappointing. Tesla does not send out media ads. It shows off its new technology and vehicles on its website or at showcases. Tesla owners have not bought the car passively, but rather, searched them out. The consumer pattern is similar to the enthusiasm over Apple’s iPhone 10 years ago.

The remote software updating feature is Tesla’s strongest marketing tool. Each owner gets new “Easter Eggs” — or hidden software — on the touch screen menu of the vehicle. When the romance mode is tapped, the dashboard shows a roaring fireplace. The egg in the “Emission Testing Mode” can be used to prank passengers with fart noises coming out of the seats. Although they are unrelated to driving and the car’s primary function, they are individualistic assets of the car that drivers love.

The first motor vehicle Motowagen made by German engineer Karl Benz in 1886 did not get any attention at first. Two years later, his wife Bertha Benz rode it on a 200-kilometer (124-mile) drive with her two sons. The word got out and made them famous. A good product relies on marketing skills to augment its appeal, but consumers will open their wallets when they love what they see.
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