Hyundai Taps Kevin Bacon For New EV Marketing Campaign

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If you were an alien, someone from Earth could tell you about the things Kevin Bacon has done on the big screen, and you’d think he was some sort of superhero. He once brought a town together through the power of dance. He also slew underground monsters that were eating people in Nevada with trickery. The earthling would just have to leave out one very important detail: that Kevin Bacon is an actor. In fact, this has already happened in a Guardians of the Galaxy special (with a hilarious outcome).

Even for people who know he’s an actor, he’s still among the most influential. Many people play the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game, because he’s been in enough popular films that you could connect any actor to him within six steps. This is also a variant of the “six degrees of separation” theory.

So, it’s no surprise that Hyundai recently hired him and his daughter to help it promote electric vehicles. And, Hyundai is hoping that people can see EVs as a lifestyle transformation (and a good one). Kevin Bacon and his daughter Sosie will bring the “It’s Time to Go Electric” campaign message alive through broadcast and social media commercials. The first ad is set to launch during professional football’s conference championship games on January 29th.

“With the introduction of the IONIQ 6, Hyundai is once again making ​the electric vehicle lifestyle more accessible and convenient than ever before,” said Angela Zepeda, CMO, Hyundai Motor America. “If you are someone on the fence of going electric, we hope this campaign starring Kevin and Sosie Bacon will show how early adopters, at any stage in their life, can easily make the switch.”

“Your Dad Is Going Electric,” the 60- and 30-second hero spots, stars Kevin and Sosie Bacon on an electric adventure in his new IONIQ 6. The ads put a comedic spin on the father/daughter bond to illustrate that even her ‘older’ dad has made the shift to EV’s well before most other customers.

In this brief commercial, we are introduced to Kevin — a passionate early adopter who can’t resist showing off the amazing features of his new Hyundai IONIQ 6. To alleviate any concerns about charging times and driving range for potential customers, Hyundai proudly presents that the IONIQ 6 is able to charge from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes with its 350-kW 800V DC ultra-fast charger. Even more impressive is its SE RWD model which boasts up to 361 miles per driving range.

There will also be a second spot, “Grandkids,” to accompany the main spot.

After the championship games conclude, ads will still run on broadcast and digital media platforms until March when the IONIQ 6 is available for purchase. Contextual social media content highlighting its stand-out features including charge time, Bluelink, digital key etc., will be spread across a variety of channels such as YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to increase awareness.

The acclaimed Will Speck and Josh Gordon, directors with Oscar nominations for feature films as well as TV commercials from the GEICO Cavemen series, directed these new spots. The magnificent production was accomplished by Furlined — a distinguished production company that is no stranger to awards.

You Don’t Have To Be A Football Fan To See The Spots

I know everybody isn’t a football fan (I’m not), so I’ve got great news. Hyundai went ahead and gave links to the TV spots in its press release. Let’s take a look at them!

In this spot, the daughter introduces her dad (who needs no introduction), and says that he “went EV.” She says he’s “eternally locked out of his email,” or, in other words, that he’s getting older and isn’t very tech savvy. But, he’s proud to be an early adopter. He points out that “EV” rhymes with “Kev,” and tells strangers about how fast it charges. One of the strangers asks if he’s Kevin Bacon. The daughter is also selling EVs (“Make the leap already.”), but is still embarrassed by all of the talking to strangers that her dad excitedly does about the EV.

For the YouTube version, he even “subscribes” to Hyundai by mailing in a postcard from a magazine, but tells us that we can do it the new way by clicking.

In the shorter spot, he’s pointing out that he’s switching to EV for future generations, but his daughter takes it as pressure to go ahead and have kids. Again, he “olds” himself at the end by showing his struggle to subscribe to the YouTube channel (the button is too small for an aging man to see).

If I had to sum it all up, what Hyundai is trying to tell us is that even out of touch old people can buy an EV and enjoy it. So, if you’re not old and out of touch, not getting an EV means you’re old and behind the times, and even more old and behind the times than Kevin Bacon. Ouch!

This Kind Of Thing Seemed Impossible Just A Few Years Ago

One thing that really jumped out to me about this ad campaign is that you’d have never seen anything like it years ago. I personally think celebrity ads can be cheesy and weird, but when they try to strike a comedic tone and have fun instead of leaning entirely on the fame of the celebrity, they’re all right. But, either way, hiring a celebrity to play themselves for a commercial isn’t cheap.

EVs used to be something manufacturers either did in small numbers in a half-assed fashion (compliance cars), or something they just paid another company like Tesla to get out of doing. Now, we’re seeing a mainstream manufacturer selling a decent vehicle and using a big celebrity ad in an expensive sporting event to do it. That’s something you’d have never seen ten years ago, and in most cases even five years ago.

This really shows us how far EVs have come, but at the same time, we’re only just exiting the early adopter phase and going mainstream. If you’re not in an EV yet (and don’t have a good excuse like affordability), you’d better get on before you’re out of style and “old.”

Featured image provided by Hyundai.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1953 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba