Cases in marketing Essay

Table of Contents Rational 1 Executive summary 1 Introduction to company 2 Problem 3 References 6

Design and development of the marketing campaigns belongs to the highest level of art which has potential to promote the business growth. It concerns everything from selection of image, words, colours and symbols to influence on the customer’s mind (Wright, 2019). The companies usually want to be innovative and creative in the ad because the successful marketing campaign can contribute to the increase of their competitive advantage. The effective ad has potential for the attraction of the new customers, increase of the brand awareness and sales. It can be useful for the of the long-term relationships of the customer and brand. Similarly, as the motivating ad can encourage the consumers to buy, the wrongful advertisement can undermine the reputation of the company and force the customers to reject the relationships with the brand. Badly developed marketing campaign delivers the wrongful messages to its customers. Sometimes the companies expect that their ad will be original, but the result is opposite. In this case I want to focus attention on the investigation of the marketing ad created by Hyundai brand that, in my opinion and based on the experts’ views, was one of the most unsuccessful examples in the history of the marketing campaigns in the automobile industry.
Executive summary

The paper deals with the investigation of the worst marketing campaign in the history of Hyundai brand. The company used the suicide topic as the main concept of its promotional campaign that has the unexpected consequences for the company including rise of anger among the public, and flow of critics to the brand that made the serious damage to the reputation of the company. The experts in the marketing studies state that the violation of the ethical principles and use of the negative associations will always have depressive consequences for the company. In order to promote its new model Hyundai developed the advertisement with unusual image which stand apart from the traditional stereotypes and clichés. However, the problem is that the company used rather unexpected topic for the ad. In the basis of its ad, the idea of suicide and wonderful saving from it due to the excellent properties of the car was used.

Hyundai’s speculation on suicide topic and attempt to laugh over it to be original almost cost it a lot of the customers. The public critic especially today in the world of Internet and social media has the capacity to spread very quickly that’s why the companies must be very careful when they design and create their ad.

The methodology of the study is based on the use of the primary and secondary methods of the research. The secondary methods of the investigation include the quantitative analysis for Hyundai’s sales rate before and after the marketing campaign in order to estimate how the flow of critics affected on the growth or reduction of sales. The data about company’s revenues will be collected from the official website of Hyundai and statistical sources. In the course of study, the author will also use the methods of analysis, comparison, juxtaposition, induction and deduction to investigate the public relations crisis management by Hyundai from the different sides, including from the side of the marketing efforts, financial impacts on the company’s activity, observance of the business ethics etc. The primary methods of research include the study of the theoretical concepts relating to the case. For this purpose, the author will use the scientific articles, Internet publications, social media networks, the website of the company and other sources where the specified problems were discussed.

The research question of the is as follows:

How the marketing campaign did influence on Hyundai’s operation and what reasons of the failure lay behind it?

The key topics discussed in the literature review will concern the introduction of the company’s activity and its place in the automobile industry; description of the marketing campaign which became the unsuccessful for the company; presentation of the different opinions about Hyundai’s marketing campaign.

Key words: Hyundai, marketing campaign, advertisement, customer, critic, business ethics.
Introduction to company

Hyundai is the large South-Korean automobile manufacturer founded in 1967. It manufactures the range of automobile including sedans, buses, trucks, SUVs etc. Annually the company sells about 3.6 mln cars. The company has the wide network of dealers and today operates in about 186 countries worldwide.

The vision of the company is to grow in the world’s largest automobile company in the world. The vision of the brand is reflected in its mission statement that includes the global expansion of Hyundai form the South Korea to all countries of the world; provision of the customers with the safe and functional automobiles; creation for the consumers the emotional value and positive experience with the use of company’s products; changing the people’s thinking through improvement of their life with new technologies. The rapid success of the company is achieved due to its focus on innovation and implementation of the new technologies. Also the company pays mush attention to the development of corporate culture and attraction of the talented people to its company. The management of the company states that the company is not simple a car maker, it is passionate about change of the global automobile industry that is expressed through all its innovation and creativity contribution (Hyundai).

Hyundai’s marketing campaign which showed trivializing suicide was not well accepted by the public. Trying to demonstrate its social awareness the company launched the TV commercials which depicted a driver who committed unsuccessful attempt of suicide. The company wanted to emphasize that its cars are so safe that everyone who sit inside is in absolute safety that even suicide will not go well. This ad caused the range of negative comments against Hyundai (Wright, 2019).

hyundai suicide ad

*Source: Valdes-Dapena (Valdes-Dapena, 2013).

According to Jason Deans, the angered users of the mass media and social networks who saw the ad demanded from the company to apologize for the extreme offence to everyone for the description of people who commit suicide as complete losers. The company was accused in speculation of the topic like suicide which is not usually discussed in the society (Deans, 2013).

As claimed by Peter Valdes-Dapena, the ill-tempered ad was aimed to promote the SUV which runs on the use of hydrogen (Valdes-Dapena, 2013). It emits the water vapor that does not give the man an opportunity to kill himself. It should be noted that the ad was created by the professional European advertising agency Innocean Europe. After the society expressed the critic of the ad, the management of the company assured them that it did not approve the ad. However, it seems rather doubtful that the company could launch the advertisement which it has never seen. The attempts of the company to apologize in such naïve way impact the users of the brand even more because they feel themselves cheated. It is necessary to emphasize that the ad is a kind of coded message aimed at the achievement of the specific response in the customers’ mind. The target audience’s response usually depends on how each person understands and interprets the perceived symbols, words and images. For the adequate decoding, the advertising must be inscribed rightly in the cultural context of targeted society. It should rely on the positive spiritual and cultural traditions and take into account nationally specific norms of ethics, peculiarities of mentality, respect the system of moral values of representatives of other cultures. Advertising performs not only a commercial, but also a social function. Touching on important public issues, such advertising is a reflection of reality. Along with this, the ad itself forms the value orientations. For modern world society, the problem of ethics in the ad is especially important, since many former spiritual and cultural values and ideals have changed in the 21st century, and some of them have collapsed. New ideals are not recognized by a part of society. Therefore, it is very important what spiritual values and cultural standards are promoted by advertising that has a huge impact. Thus, according to Matthew Herper, there are always repeated suicides in the month after such stories. This serves the evidence that the effects of the ad are much bigger for the emotionally vulnerable people. The statistics shows that 17% overdoses increased in the week after the prominent overdose social ad on causality. In 1998 the media in Hong Kong reported about the heavy poisoning with the carbon monoxide after the similar story was shown on TV. Hyundai ad could become the trigger for some people with unstable psyche who do not capable to estimate the real and filmed world. In scholar’s opinion, such controversial and provocative images must be banned in the ad because their consequences are unpredictable (Herper, 2013).

Anant Rangaswami called Hyundai suicide ad to be a suicide for brand. The company was blamed in the incapability to create entertaining and amusing messages and deliverer to the target consumers the negative statement. The scholar compares this image with advertising the rapes, murders, accidents or other crimes. This advertisement depicts people like beings with the lot of problems, full of fears and routine failures. Undoubtedly, this advertisement delivers the wrong motives to the target consumers. The advertisement must be positive and emotionally touching. It must encourage people to buy the product rather than to fear and think about death. Evidently, the image chosen by the company was absolutely wrong and attempts to be original have led to the damage to the company’s reputation (Rangaswami, 2013).

The reviews of the people were loud speaking. People wrote that they began to shake literarily when they saw that the person wants to kill itself. Some noted that they took the scenes so hard that they even put down there drink back on the table. The other started to cry and even wanted to call to the police and ambulance to help the hero of this sad ad. All these descriptions and many other reviews about the ad are full of terrible associations which Hyundai’s ad raised in people. It is obviously wrongful associations. The company expected that customers will laugh together with it over the unsuccessful attempts of the hero to commit suicide, while people trembled and cried watching it. I think such ad will be graved in their minds for long time.

The video ad of the company was much discussed in the social network and information about it quickly spread over the web. Hyundai expected to win the new customers due to the originality, but the attempt to distinguish itself played against the company. The decision of the company to create something original is clear (Edwards, 2013). Usually, the advertisements are full of traditional clichés. In the automobile industry, the clichés are extremely standard, e.g. open road, daytime or nighttime driving through the walls of the barriers or flames. Hyundai wanted to create the ad which would be not similar to the ad of its competitors. Obviously, it is difficult to be original when creating a video for a traditional target audience and in the traditional type of industry full of stereotypes and clichés. Original ad is a real kind of art. Therefore, the creative ad is highly valued because it can contribute to the development of the competitive advantage of the company. In fact, there are special ways to search for creative ideas, the most famous and widespread of which is the method of brainstorming, a collective search for ideas. Its principal features include criticism of the proposals expressed is excluded; participants facilitate the emergence and expression of the maximum number of ideas; encouraging proposals in the form of bold, unusual designs and free association; combining and improving the expressed thoughts. This method is especially effective when discussing the general idea, strategy and concept of advertising.

Having summarized the above-said, Hyundai’s advertisement belongs to the examples of the wrongful strategies for the creation of the innovative and original message for the customers. No one expected that the response of the audience will be angry. The company’s management expected that the images in ad will be interpreted in absolutely other way. Therefore, it again proves that the creation of the advertisement requires not only original ideas but following the moral and ethical principles too.

References Deans, J. (2013, April 25). Hyundai pulls attempted suicide advert. Retrieved March 3, 2021, from Edwards, J. (2013, April 26). Here’s The Full Story Of That Despicable Hyundai Suicide Ad Everyone Is Talking About. Retrieved March 3, 2021, from Herper, M. (2013, April 25). Update: Hyundai Apologizes For Car Ad Depicting Attempted Suicide. Retrieved March 3, 2021, from Hyundai. (n.d.). Hyundai Motor In Brief. Retrieved March 3, 2021, from Hyundai : Rangaswami, A. (2013, April 26). Hyundai suicide ad is suicide for the brand. Retrieved March 3, 2021, from Valdes-Dapena, P. (2013, April 25). Hyundai pulls ad that plays suicide for laughs. Retrieved March 1, 2021, from Wright, I. (2019, May 11). Worst Car Advertisements Of All Time. Retrieved March 3, 2021, from

Cases in Marketing,

Ruslan Tsatiev.