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Marketing: Hyundai reinvented

Hyundai is embarking on a brand reinvention with a new advertising campaign intended to position it as a better quality mainstream manufacturer.

The carmaker, still seen by many buyers as a budget purchase, has launched the campaign via agency VCCP.

It draws heavily on Hyundai’s market leading five-year warranty offered across its range.

The TV ads, first broadcast on January 19 during ITV’s Inspector Morse, feature Getz, Coupé and Santa Fe, and show the cars morphing into liquid metal, then back. A voiceover states: “Quality flows through every surface of a Hyundai.”

It is supported by online and national press promotions, direct mail and POS materials. Dealers’ sales staff have also been given specific training to implement Hyundai’s ‘QSI’ brand values: quality, self-assured and inspiring.

Jim Campbell, Hyundai UK marketing director, says: “This campaign is a powerful reflection of the huge progress that Hyundai has made in the past few years. We’ve developed into a brand that is synonymous with outstanding quality and we’ve got a great range of stylish, award-winning cars to prove it.”

Hyundai says it wants to boost public recognition. Customers are loyal to the brand and associate it with value for money, reliability, quality and its warranty, but the task is to tempt more prospective buyers into considering Hyundai cars.

This latest marketing push follows similar work by VCCP last year, which it says increased Hyundai’s consumer association with good warranties by 55% and drove a 41% increase in visitors to its website.

VCCP says the quality of Hyundai’s models has improved rapidly, but adds: “With the exception of consumers who are knowledgeable about the car market, Hyundai continued to be perceived as a ‘trade-off’ car brand beyond their consideration.”

Although Hyundai is the only carmaker to provide a five-year warranty, VCCP’s research showed many consumers see it as a necessity to allay product reliability issues, rather than as proof of quality improvements.

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