Hyundai shifts gears in India, repositions itself as an aspirational brand for millennials

The auto maker is moving from product-based functional advertising to focus more on the aspirational value of the brand. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Hyundai has launched a campaign, #Brilliantmoments, focusing on the nostalgic value of the first car

BestMediaInfo Bureau
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Hyundai shifts gears in India, repositions itself as an aspirational brand for millennials

Puneet Anand

As Hyundai Motor India tries to reposition itself as a more premium brand, the company will soon launch a new car, most likely the tallboy Santro, in a new avatar. The company has launched a nostalgic campaign #Brilliantmoments to celebrate its 20th anniversary in India, revolving around the memory of the first car a user bought and moments created with it.

“The 3-4 months long campaign titled #BrilliantMoments will be merged with the launch of our flagship complete family and contemporary car, which will be launched in the festive season before October. It will be in the compact segment,” Puneet Anand, Sr. General Manager and Group Head, Marketing, HMIL, told

Advertising strategy shifting gears

The company is gradually moving away from functional advertising to making ads that portray its products as more aspirational for millennials.

Hyundai is one of the few brands in the auto category that is launching ads that don’t focus on the product, but try to keep it aspirational most of the time.

The auto maker recently launched two of its campaigns, one for Creta and the other for the FIFA World Cup. Both the campaigns don’t talk about the functional benefits much but position the car as very aspirational.

Creta films:



FIFA film:

Mentioning the reason behind the strategy, Anand said, “Car is a very aspirational product so people would like to see it in a different avatar. But by and large, the communication on this channel also talks about the products and features. It may not always be driving because India still has to come to that age wherein performance becomes one of the major parameters. Because roads and infrastructure are a challenge, people want a good family-oriented car that has value for their money. That is why many advertisers focus on products, USP and features, technology, connectivity and mobility.”

The brand has also signed a four-year deal with BCCI as part of which Hyundai will be the official sponsor for all international matches to be played in India. Hyundai also sponsors golf, polo and badminton.

The digital move

The auto company is rapidly increasing its focus on the digital platform and has increased its digital spends by eight times in the last four years. Anand said, “The millennials and youth want to be connected with the brands not on TV or radio but they want to be connected on the go. And that is where the ubiquitous mobile phone has actually become the main communication tool. So how we are able to reach to the sub-minds of the consumers through this medium is something which we are focusing upon.”

The auto company was also the first brand to launch online booking of cars in India.

Hyundai has more than 11 million fans on Facebook and the largest database among the car brands on YouTube. Keeping most of the focus on content on the digital front, Anand said, “Content is something on which we are investing a lot of money so that customers can watch videos and content generated from most of our activities.”

Hyundai spends 20% of its overall marketing budget on digital. Certain campaigns are 100% digital.

“In the #BrilliantMoments campaign as well, the larger spend would be on digital because we want to connect with the larger audience. Being a long-term campaign, it will have presence across all the mediums,” said Anand.

While Every Media is the digital creative agency of Hyundai, the brand deals with Google, YouTube, Facebook and other digital platforms directly.

A generational change: 20 years in India

The Korean car maker entered India in 1998 with the launch of Santro and rapidly established itself as one of the leading players. Currently Hyundai claims to have more than 16% market share.

Today, India contributes 15% to the global sales of Hyundai Motors group, making it the largest contributor outside Korea. The brand has registered the highest-ever domestic sales of 45,371 units with a growth of 21% for the month of June 2018.

The importance of the Indian market for Hyundai could be gauged by the fact that it has become one of the three regional headquarters besides America and Europe. India has been given more powers to be a long-term player for the next two decades.

Talking about Hyundai's 20-year-old journey in India, Anand said, “It is nostalgic for us and I have been a part of this journey since 1998. As we go back to the time when Santro was launched on September 23, it revolutionised the way India looked at automobiles. We changed the entire thought process as far as car buying process is concerned, starting from the initial concept of tallboy design followed by the first MPFI engine technology and then the first car to have a power steering in the compact segment.”

The company is known as an innovative and a game-changer brand for setting new benchmarks. “Now, when we look back at those 20 years, we feel very proud and nostalgic. It is customers who have posted their faith in Hyundai. So it is time for us to give it back to them. And that is where we are talking about the #BrilliantMoments because I feel that the product itself is not just a car, it is a complete family put together. So, this is the platform which we are giving to the customers to express their satisfaction about the product and also share some of their brilliant memories.”

The #BrilliantMoments campaign

The ideation of the campaign has been done by in-house and executed by its in-house agency Innocean Worldwide.

As part of the campaign, in Phase I, between June 27 and July 31, Hyundai is releasing two emotionally connecting films, ‘The Deal with Accent’ and ‘Army with Santro’, which will be promoted on social media and digital platforms. The customers of Hyundai brands – Santro, Accent and i10 – would be invited to share their #BrilliantMemories with Hyundai through the microsite, special letter boxes at the Hyundai dealership network, email on and WhatsApp (8130121212).

The first film ‘The Deal with Accent’ of the campaign #BrilliantMoments:

In Phase II, Top 10 #BrilliantMoments stories shared by the Hyundai customers would be made into individual films and promoted on the microsite

In Phase III, Top 10 Brilliant stories would be promoted for voting and the top three films with highest votes would be chosen as winners. The winners will be gifted Hyundai cars at an event in presence of corporate brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan, apart from domestic holidays for 10 couples and 1,000 gift vouchers for lucky winners.

Hyundai #Brilliantmoments