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Tastemade on helping Hyundai convince Americans they should take a road trip

Tastemade won the ‘Automotive or transport’ category at The Drum Awards for Content 2021 with its ‘Un-adventurers’ campaign for Hyundai. Here, the team behind the winning entry shares the secrets of this successful project...

The challenge

Hyundai’s brand mission is ‘Better Drives Us.’ The brand evaluates creative based on whether it’s bettering the world in some way, like inspiring people to get outside or spend more time with their loved ones.

When Hyundai and Innocean came to Tastemade with a shocking statistic that over 35 million Americans have never traveled outside the state that they were born in, we knew it was crucial to view it from the lens of ‘Better Drives Us.’

The strategy

Together, we developed an idea around taking individuals on the road trip of a lifetime to showcase how important it is to step outside of your comfort zone and explore what lies beyond your doorstep. Hyundai has high brand awareness in the auto category, so its primary goal was to increase affinity, consideration and purchase intent for the brand, and the brand determined the best way to do this was through a narrative documentary series that reached people where they already were.

The campaign

This was a true collaborative process between Hyundai, Innocean (creative agency) and Canvas (media agency), and Tastemade (production), with all parties engaged in the strategy and execution. This three-episode series was primarily distributed across Tastemade’s Streaming Network, reaching over 100m households, and also ran on YouTube.

One of the most important elements of the series was strong casting, as each episode was only as good as the story we were telling. Hyundai, Innocean and Tastemade worked closely with Tastemade’s casting team to identify unique individuals of all ages who have never traveled outside their state, for their own personal reasons. This was the longest and most challenging part of the process, but arguably the most important. We started filming this series before the Covid-19 pandemic began and had to stop production midway through.

Even traveling back home after we made the decision to halt production was a challenge, because traveling (especially flying) was discouraged and it was our top priority to keep our team safe.

Once we started filming again a few months later, costs were 40% higher than we originally budgeted for due to the extra safety precautions we put in place, and we had to shorten the timeline by several weeks to get it launched on time. The benefit of launching a show about the power of the road trip in the middle of the pandemic, however, was that road trip culture was on the rise. So ultimately, although the pandemic caused several challenges for us on the production side, it launched at a perfect time – when people were looking for inspirational stories that also encouraged people to safely get on the road for their next adventure.

The results

We used a Comscore brand lift study to measure Hyundai’s key KPIs (affinity, consideration and purchase intent) and performed above average in all categories compared to auto campaign norms. The series successfully generated positive audience sentiment and fan growth for Hyundai while providing a new longform content series that the audience craved. We also drove brand attributes and instilled brand messaging through the use of a host and talent that resonated with the audience.

Our brand lift study found that after watching the series, viewers were 57% more likely to recall Hyundai (+11% above norm), 41% more likely to be favorable towards Hyundai (+10% able norm), and 24% more likely to consider purchasing Hyundai (+7% above norm). Additionally, there was a 49% growth in new fans of Hyundai on social media.

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for Content 2021. Click here to find out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

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