Hyundai Kicks Off 2024's Big Marketing Push; Over 55% Spends Still Marked For Traditional Channels

Virat Khullar, AVP & Vertical Head, Marketing, Hyundai Motor India discusses with BW Marketing World about the long-standing association of Shah Rukh Khan with Hyundai, getting Deepika Padukone onboard and more

The pairing of Shah Rukh Khan-Deepika Padukone is not simply a director’s delight, but also a marketer’s. And when SRK-Padukone come together, we all know we are in for a ‘blockbuster’ treat.

Hyundai Motor India recently launched the new Hyundai Creta 2024. Virat Khullar, AVP & Vertical Head, Marketing, Hyundai Motor India discusses with BW Marketing World, "With over 9.80 lakh + customers, the Creta has been around for eight and a half years, where one Creta is sold every five minutes."

He adds that allotting a budget of almost 55 per cent to its traditional marketing, Hyundai puts aside almost 10 per cent of its entire marketing budget for experiential marketing and 35 per cent for digital marketing.

Khullar converses about the long-standing association of Shah Rukh Khan with Hyundai, getting Deepika Padukone onboard, the experiential activities Hyundai plans to adopt for Creta in 2024, the unfurling of the new marketing campaign, and more.

SRK-Deepika & Hyundai

SRK’s association with Hyundai, is probably one of the oldest and long-standing collaborations. And now with Deepika on board, Hyundai is looking at taking the brand and its marketing a notch higher.

Khullar pointed out, “As you can see, over 2023 we had almost seven launches. We entered new segments with the Exter - which is the entry SUV, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 - which was the top of the line born electric car, which was also the World Car of the year 2022.

So, starting from doing projection mapping on the Gateway of India to getting in Hardik Pandya as the brand ambassador and representing the youth for us, to now doing a blockbuster movie style launch with Deepika on board. So I think with every opportunity that we get at Hyundai marketing, we try to make it the level next.”

Very evidently, the brand usually does not have liberties of time, liberties of unending budget. “The aim is to create content that will actually break a lot of clutter. We know there are multiple screens today. We know there is content getting produced. So the marketing team at Hyundai actually looks at ingredients into the creative campaign - each one of them has to create virality, which is not just incremental in nature, but exponential in nature.

Some of the work that we did last year also got a lot of awards. But the aim with every opportunity is to do something path-breaking. Also to give you a sense, this is not only on product side. In the end of last year, we also launched a purpose marketing campaign called Samarth by Hyundai. We are trying to create a movement upon disability, inclusivity and awareness. Content is being created by companies and by consumers. The aim is to be as clutter breaking as possible,” Khullar mentioned.

Strategy For The Launch

Elucidating on the kind of a strategy was kept in mind to execute and unfold the launch of the marketing campaign, Khullar said, “We tried to convert adversity into opportunity. From our sales team, we were not supposed to advertise the new Creta in the end of December because they were selling out the existing car. We were told to start advertising the product on 1 January, 2024.

So in the end of December we actually advertised or teased the commercial. We had Deepika starring in two teasers where she meets a secret agent, where she's given a task, where there is no mention of Hyundai, there is no mention of Creta.”

Those films were not released on Hyundai’s social media channel. They were actually released in partnerships with 10 movie influencers. So those films were actually released on movie influencer platforms without any Hyundai mention, without any logo, with no car.

“That is where the general audience on social media started forecasting a new movie release or a new movie, etc. Then slowly when we released the same film to the auto journalists, people started to put things together. Shah Rukh Khan came in very late in the campaign, almost when we opened bookings. But the initial part was delivered by a shock value of Deepika coming on board. Then Shah Rukh came in at bookings, open time and then both of them met, as you see, for the first time in the television commercial,” he adds.

It was a phase-wise 20-day plan almost at a daily programming from 26 December, 2023 to 16 January, 2024. And post 16 January, Hyundai launched a full blitz, which is a 360 degree five mediums campaign.

Marketing Plan For Creta For 2024

Hyundai is looking at a launch phase and a sustainance phase. “In the launch phase, obviously the aim is to do top funnel and bottom funnel advertising. We will start by driving awareness and consideration and then move on to generating purchase intent, which is happening very strongly, looking at the numbers we are seeing on a daily basis,” explains Khullar.

He goes on, “We will obviously be integrating the car through the year in a lot of digital and television properties. Also some stuff that we will do on ground, which will be the sustainance phase or the long tail of the car. And Creta will be our number one campaign for 2024. So this campaign, which is launched in all mediums, will be sustained till 29 February, 2024. And then after a little bit of break, we'll come back to sustainance sections of the brand.”

Experiential Efforts To Up Engagement

Hyundai is looking at car integrations. “We've already done that by integrating it one round on the 69th Filmfare Awards that got shot end of last month. It will be aired on 18 February, 2024. So this is one kind of integration that we do at an experiential level, but they are basically properties for television.

The second part is to take the car through mall displays etc through different markets. While the Creta has almost a 100 per cent top of mind awareness, the new Creta to build consideration and to build process intent, we'll try to take it to some more. The innovation that we did was the 4D activation billboard that we did in CyberHub, Gurugram. So almost every year we try to do some uniqueness on experiential.”

The brand had also done the Gateway of India projection. Khullar reveals, “We have done the 3D anamorphic with Venue, The Creators Arena with other cars. So this is the first time a 4D-activation has been done by a company in India. We are also going to be getting into the Asia India Book of Records due to that activity. So it is an immersive curved LED billboard in CyberHub. Below that, she or he can stand on a platform which has haptic fields where he or she can actually experience how the Creta will feel to drive in a snowy environment, in an off-roading environment, in a city environment.

In about five days, we have given about 800 experiences. There is a big queue around this experience. To actually generate hundreds of leads from one experience in one city is a big thing. These things, while they're done for experiences, they are also done to create some good viral digital content. So that is also under production right now. It will be taken and promoted on all the social media.”

The aim is to integrate the car on large impact shows which go on TV and continue to do some innovative experiential stuff through the year where younger audiences and obviously its core TG is present.