Hyundai's product blitz this year, including the introduction of the Kona crossover and a revamped Veloster hot hatch, has put a heavy load on marketing chief Dean Evans and his ad crew.
Hyundai began the year with a sympathetic bang at the Super Bowl, where the automaker put the spotlight on its nonprofit Hyundai Hope on Wheels, which is focused on finding a cure for pediatric cancer. Evans has used the Super Bowl to tell stories that go beyond typical product messaging to stress the brand's values, saying consumers expect companies to make a stand on advertising's biggest stage.
And things haven't slowed down.
The Kona hit the airwaves this year, and the Veloster made its presence known over the summer in a high-octane turn in the Ant-Man and the Wasp superhero flick.
The movie product placement, which also included cameos from the Kona and Santa Fe, was done in a way that couldn't be ignored. The Veloster's chase scene, one of the longest and most complex chases in Marvel history, was its shining moment in the film.
Hyundai also launched a digital showroom on Amazon this summer, the first brand to do so. Evans told Automotive News in July that he thinks Amazon will become "the No. 1 auto research destination you can go to online." Hyundai's Amazon hub is a gateway that leads shoppers to HyundaiUSA.com, where they can schedule test drives, calculate prices and view inventory.
Hyundai, the NFL's official automotive sponsor, took a bigger role on game days this season with a pregame sponsorship of NBC's "Sunday Night Football."
Amid the busy year, Evans, 50, landed in the top 10 of the World's Most Influential CMOs list by Forbes. Evans ranked eighth, the highest of any auto executive on the list this year; he was No. 29 last year.
"It was humbling. I was really surprised," Evans said of the Forbes honor. "[I'm] really proud for the marketing team at Hyundai. A lot of it is because of that and what the team has done. I'm thankful."