Yash Bhatia

Why Hyundai opted for a Bollywood-style action campaign with SRK and Deepika for the new Creta

  • Hyundai's Creta campaign integrates Bollywood flair, starring SRK and Padukone, for heightened audience engagement

  • Virat Khullar highlights Creta's significance as Hyundai's top product, driving over 20% of total sales

  • The campaign includes out-of-home marketing initiatives across 130 cities.

  • The brand has partnered with Bigg Boss and the Filmfare Awards to boost product visibility

In the ad land, the pre-campaign teaser strategy has become prominent as brands strategically deploy it to offer the audience a sneak peek into the official campaign. By this, brands can spark interest and curiosity among customers.

Hyundai released a 24-second teaser before the launch of its campaign for Creta. In the video, Deepika Padukone who recently became the brand ambassador is referring to ‘King’, the moniker used for Shah Rukh Khan (SRK), who has also been a brand ambassador since 1998.

Following this, the automotive brand released a 2-minute-22-second action-packed spot. In the ad, SRK and Padukone drive around the city to stop a truck carrying a shipment of counterfeit bonds.

Although the background of the city looks European, the car is carrying a registration plate for Maharashtra (MH). 

The campaign will run till the end of February. 

Virat Khullar, AVP and vertical head, marketing, HMIL, shares the rationale behind the campaign, noting his observation of a resurgence in audience interest in going back to the movies in the middle of 2023. 

He emphasised that the Hyundai Creta holds the position of the brand's top product, individually contributing to more than 20% of the overall sales. 

“The brief to the agency was to launch Hyundai Creta like a Bollywood movie. To think like we’re launching a movie, rather than thinking that we’re launching a car,” Khullar shares. 

Virat Khullar, AVP and vertical head, marketing
Virat Khullar, AVP and vertical head, marketing

The Korean carmaker treated the campaign akin to a movie, launching a teaser and collaborating with Siddharth Anand, the director of the Bollywood blockbuster Pathaan. The ad campaign was conceptualised by Innocean India. 

While brainstorming the campaign, the brand did not plan to showcase Pathaan-esque's adventure and decided to exhibit an action sequel. As the brand had roped in Deepika Padukone as its brand ambassador, creating the ad in the style of a Pathaan sequel made sense for the brand.

The campaign has witnessed 5x increase in web traffic for the new Creta, securing nearly 50,000 bookings.

Marketing strategy 

To showcase the Creta, in January, the brand partnered with Bigg Boss, and it will also collaborate with the 69th Filmfare Awards, scheduled to be aired on February 18, 2024. 

“The car will be visible on the Filmfare stage”, he added. 

According to the brand, the TG of the Hyundai Creta spans pan India and falls within the age group of  30 to 50 years.

“It is the biggest campaign for us in the last two years, and we accordingly planned a 360-degree campaign comprising every medium. Currently, just the out-of-home (OOH) campaign is live in 130 cities,” he highlights. 

To generate hype in the market, the brand partnered with 10 prominent online movie reviewers to launch the teaser without revealing the car’s name. 

In terms of media-mix, 45% is allocated towards television, followed by 35% for digital channels. “Auto category still needs a large screen impact including TV and CTV (connected television). Digital is used for both top and bottom funnel”, he emphasises. 

Category code

The prevalent template in automobile advertising often features cars speeding on empty mountain roads, coupled with a focus on highlighting the vehicle's features that tout its comfort and smooth operation. Is this now considered an industry standard?

Khullar answers, “In the SUV category, we need to showcase capabilities. These can be showcased in different ways: like cars running with horses and racing in the mountains. Most campaigns are product showcases, whereas in this campaign, we launched a kind of short-format movie with a teaser, as we aimed to get virality.”

Sometimes, with storytelling and a Bollywood-driven script, there is a risk that customers might divert all their attention to celebrities, potentially overshadowing the product announcement and resulting in less awareness.

In this particular case, could the involvement of SRK and Padukone with Pathaan-esque dialogues pose such a challenge?

Khullar explains, “Creta as a brand already has 100% awareness, it was not a top funnel issue, with this campaign our message to the customers was that the new edition of Creta is in the market.” 

Have news to share? Write to us atnewsteam@afaqs.com