Giddy Up Little Pony!

Jaye Torley    October 21, 2014

Organization Name: Hyundai

Industry: Automotive

Name of Contact: Ted Troughton, 

National Manager for Market Representation for Hyundai Canada

In 1988 I bought a two year old Hyundai Pony. At that time they were referred to as “throw away cars”, you know, you drive it for 3-4 years and, well, you throw it away. Oh my, how things have changed! You ask the average Hyundai owner now a days, he’ll tell you straight, “best car I’ve ever owned”, “I’m in love!” and to quote Charlton Heston “from my cold dead hand…”, you can pull the keys. When you talk about brand loyalty, sheesh, owners love their Hyundai’s.

Along with their commitment to manufacturing, some of the world’s finest and most reasonably priced automobiles, is their commitment to connecting with the marketplace. The emphasis on social media is best described by John Krafcik, CEO, Hyundai USA, Social Media Day.



At the international level Hyundai used RFID tags in concert with FACEBOOK at the Autorai Amsterdam AutoShow.  The results – spectacular. Hyundai reports:

  • 10,000 “LIKES”
  • on-line connection with over 2 million peopleVeloster
  • the Dutch Division made over 1,000 new friends.
  • The VELOSTER was the “most liked” car of the show
  • and of course, Hyundai “most liked” company.



Hyundai’s “CATCH THE BUZZ” campaign for the Auto Expo 2012 was the seamless integration of both “on-line” and “on-ground” integration. BUZZ Cards with RFID chips were used to guide attendees through the registration process. Once registered, an auto mailer was triggered resulting in an automatic connection with their Facebook account. Strategically positioned around the Hyundai products throughout the Pavilion, were a series of “pillars”. All registrants had to do, was “swipe” their Buzz Card overtop the pillars and automatic responses were posted on their Facebook accounts along with an interesting “factoid” about the car and its specs.

The results:

  • 48,264 “LIKES” were recorded.
  • People could also have pictures taken of themselves with their favourite cars. See below for full details.


Hyundai’s philosophy of Navigate, Connect & Discover is best described in their practical application called BLUE LINK, which incluBlueLinkdes: voice text messaging, location sharing and real time navigation, just to name a few.





“If we made it fun to virtually drive a car, would you get inside?” asks Hyundai international.   HECK YA!   To launch the new generation I30, Hyundai arranged a TRON inspired virtual grid. By playing the game each player learned more about the car and shared their experience on Facebook. South Africa was chosen as the main venue with sites in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Across multiple sites, bars and restaurants teams enlisted by using Facebook Connect.  While driving, participants became immersed in the Hyundai test drive experience. Traversing the digital route drivers picked up icons throughout the course resulting in points accquired. Large format speakers outside the site venue declared races, scores and who’s ahead on the leader board. Pictures of drivers on the course were taken in real time and posted on the drivers’ Facebook page. Talk about sharing…. Outside the race was a I30 virtual digital display brochure, everything drivers wanted to know about the new vehicle was literally at their finger tips.


At the retail/dealership level clients can access important information about their local dealership and helpful tips like, gas savings. Grayson Hyundai offers these tips….


Hyundai dealers are also using YOUTUBE to directly market to their communities. Consider  PUGI Hyundai.


Here in Canada, according to Ted Troughton, National Manager for Market Representation for Hyundai Canada;

“We realize that social media has a tremendous effect on the future of the company, so much so that we have developed a new DIGITAL Department. On a scale of 1-10, we would score our emphasis on social media as a 9/10.  We are having conversations on how social media will be used by the next generation of Hyundai customers. As the next generation matures and makes their own independent purchasing decisions, we will need to stay ahead of the curve. We’re also thinking through selling strategies. How do we deal with a generation that in many cases doesn’t want to buy a car by coming into a dealership, rather, they’d prefer to research and purchase on line? Both our sales force and consumer will need to develop new ways of communicating together.”

Lessons Learned

  • each car segment has a specific market in mind
  • cars are designed to meet the needs of those segments
  • young people want new & innovative ways to be approached by marketers
  • cars have become virtual in every sense (office, home office, leisure centre), all requiring technical advantages.
  • consumers want executives out meeting with them, connecting with them on social media. Consumers want to believe that their opinions matter and that they can influence a car company to build the products they want.
  • every guy and gal loves gadgets; really they do. If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then gadgets have to be a boy’s.
  • social media is influencing, serving and in some cases leading the sales process.
  • within the young is their ability to reach their generation. Marketers would do well to remember this. Marketing companies should be hiring more young people to understand and reach their generation.


Web References


TWITTER – Hyundai Canada


Submitted by:  Jaye Torley

To contact the author of this entry please email at

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.