Shreyas Kulkarni

It is KBC and Bigg Boss on TV and the Cricket World Cup on CTV for Hyundai India’s latest safety spots

Marketing chief Virat Khullar explains the strategy behind the campaign on airbags becoming standard across all of the brand’s models.

It is the season of sixes whether it is on the field at the ongoing cricket World Cup, or during the over breaks with Hyundai’s three new ads touting the presence of six airbags in all cars from its India portfolio.

Called ‘6 hai toh safe hai’, the campaign launched on the first of October in 2023 was preceded by another safety-led spot from the carmaker – Hyundai Verna scoring five stars in the global NCAP crash test.

Seeing both the campaigns and particularly the three 20-second spots from Hyundai’s latest campaign that feature young men and women, the assumption arises that the carmaker is looking at first-time car buyers whose knowledge of the must-have safety measures in a car is not the best.

“No, it is not,” states Virat Khullar, AVP and vertical head, marketing, Hyundai India. He says the carmaker is increasingly seeing buyers more conscious of safety. These people, he remarks, “are not only buying their first cars, but they're also influencing the car buying decision in the family.”

The length of the ads, he reveals, was on purpose and not because of the time limitations television and streaming offer. “The message has to be simple, direct and short, and they needed to run on high frequency… The simpler the USP the more difficult it is to convert it into an ad. So, we kept it very simple.” explains the AVP marketing.

The ads are being run on KBC and Bigg Boss’ television broadcasts and on CTV when it comes to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. “CTV for us is kind of a premium TG. The aim is not to repeat target the same viewer,” remarks Khullar.

Hyundai India is targeting the World Cup because millions of people watch the matches across different broadcast points.

Virat Khullar
Virat Khullar

An interesting point Khullar makes about the brand’s customers is their decreasing age which has continued successively for the past four years. “We are now looking at an average age of 38 to 39 years as the average across Hyundai car buyers today.”

The drop has more to do with the features buyers are purchasing. More and more people are buying connected cars, cars with sunroofs, and automatic transmissions.

“While we are dropping the average age, our average ticket size is now almost grown up by if I'm not mistaken 30 to 40% over the last three years. It is linked to more and more people buying feature-rich vehicles.”

It is KBC and Bigg Boss on TV and the Cricket World Cup on CTV for Hyundai India’s latest safety spots

Khullar sees a decent demand coming in during this festive season despite it being a delayed festive time with Diwali coming in November. The carmaker, he says, is an always-on advertiser and does about 50,000 cars a month.

Celebrities make up a big bunch of Hyundai India’s brand ambassador duties. There is actor Shah Rukh Khan followed by a gamut of cricketers: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Yastika Bhatia, Renuka Singh Thakur, and Hardik Pandya.

They are at the top of the funnel for the carmaker’s marketing strategy. Cricket, obviously is a passion point in the country. So, "marketers need to be conscious of how cricket is to be utilised,” he comments.

Car buying, for the Hyundai marketing chief, is an act that is both emotional and functional. With a lot more technology coming into cars rationality comes in. But yes, you will ultimately take one for yourself or your family, it will remain a function of status it will remain a function of pride.” 

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