Hyundai’s “Uncensored” campaign for the 2011 Sonata, which started July 5 and continues through August, began with TV spots and concludes with driving events in 10 major markets. But the bulk of the campaign is social media, with YouTube and Facebook being used to provide opportunities for consumers to comment on the Sonata and competitive cars in an effort to drive sales.
Uncensored is a testimonial campaign, but the testimonials don’t come from satisfied customers; they come from prospective buyers who drive the Sonata and compare it with other cars on hidden camera. TV spots feature clips of those comments, and on YouTube extended videos and outtakes are also available.
Until last Friday, a tab on Hyundai’s Facebook page accepted applications for a test-drive program that starts this week. Fifty drivers were selected from more than 7,500 entries to drive a Sonata for 30 days and post regular comments on the Facebook page. “They can put positive and negative comments up there; it’s direct from the voice of the consumer,” said Monique Kumpis, Hyundai’s experiential marketing manager. The drivers will be given flip cams so they can shoot their own videos and post them on Facebook.
Innocean Worldwide Americas, an Irvine, CA agency that’s owned by Hyundai, created the Hyundai YouTube page, where viewers can comment on the cars and view 28 videos, which include Innocean’s five TV spots and 23 outtakes, which run longer or shorter than the standard :30s. “Cool footage of people talking about Lexus and Mercedes is one of the outtakes,” said Milind Raval, Innocean’s director of interactive marketing. “YouTube is a social media video site that’s perfect for collecting uncensored real life feedback.”
The agency reskinned the YouTube page with quotes in the background to promote the “uncensored” theme and used the same skin for its Flash banner ads, which are running on major car sites including Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book, AOL Autos, MSN Auto and Cars.com. Behavioral targeting is also being used to send ads to people who have visited car sites. The ads direct viewers to the Hyundai YouTube page or to Hyundai.com if they express interest in a particular car.
Most of the videos on the YouTube page have received less than 2,000 views, but Sweet Ride has more than 24,000 and Are You Kidding Me over 8,000. Hyundai will also use Facebook metrics to measure the campaign, with data that counts the number of new fans and views of videos on the page, Kumpis said.