Hyundai launches its first black marketing campaign, “OKAY Hyundai”

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The Hyundai Motor Company launched its first black American marketing campaign, dubbed OKAY Hyundai, last week after partnering with a black-owned marketing agency.

Hyundai hired Maryland-based Culture Brands in May with the goal of “being more strategic, focused and authentic in the way we communicate with African-American consumers.” Erik Thomas, the automaker’s group senior director for experiential and multicultural marketing said according to the New Pittsburgh Courier.

“… We seek to continue to connect with people on their own terms and in a relevant way. As we increase our share of voice with the African American market and communicate successfully, we anticipate that sales growth will follow, ”added Thomas.

The OKAY Hyundai campaign will feature two of Hyundai’s plug-in hybrid vehicles on radio, television and social media.

“We decided to make our marketing more inclusive and representative, and the result is to work with Culture Brands to launch the OKAY Hyundai campaign to promote the 2022 Hyundai Tucson plug-in hybrid and the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe plug-in hybrid in a culturally relevant way ”, Angela Zepeda, CMO, Hyundai Motor America said in a Release. “What makes this campaign unique is its relativity which we believe broadens Hyundai’s voice in the market.”
Although Hyundai does not publish its sales data by race, it does know that black consumers make up a small percentage of buyers of hybrid or plug-in vehicles. The company is trying to change that by tapping into a U.S. black market that was $ 835 billion in spending in 2019 according to McKinsey et Cie.
Hyundai’s move has been applauded by many and comes months after black media mogul Byron Allen fought General Motors and its CEO Marie barra on its significant lack of black advertising. Detroit Free Press reported that Allen hasn’t finished either.

According to Hyundai, the campaign focuses on a less is more approach and efficiency is what matters. It also shows how the African American community recognizes and praises someone with just one word.

“OKAY is defined as a word used to express assent, agreement or acceptance” Eunique Jones GibsonCulture Brands CEO and chief creative officer said in a statement. “In the African American community, putting OKAY before anything is the epitome of how things worth noting are recognized. Together, it’s the perfect nod to Hyundai and our potential buyers.


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