How Hyundai shot its emotional Super Bowl ad — during the game

by admin February 6, 2017 at 4:51 am

Hyundai visually transported three soldiers to Houston’s NRG Stadium using 360-degree pods that placed them in a suite with their family members attending the game. The soldiers — who are on a military base in Zagan, Poland — were surrounded by a screen that allowed them to look around the NRG suite and see the field as if they were in the stadium. The families could see the soldiers through a monitor being held by a teddy bear sitting in the suite with them.

While some companies battled for Super Bowl kickoff and first-quarter ad slots, Hyundai decided to anchor the game with a blast of raw emotion that put a new spin on the familiar tale of reuniting soldiers with their families.

Most are used to the traditional scene of soldiers walking in on unsuspecting family members when they return home. But Hyundai flipped the script by surprising the soldiers with a technological tour de force that brought the families “together” at the Super Bowl despite being a world away.

Adding to the spot’s complexity, the agency had to shoot a portion of it, edit and then get it approved during the game to blend the reactions into the 90-second documentary-style ad. It aired during the first commercial break after the game.

For “Operation Better,” Hyundai and its agency Innocean deployed a technology that the team can’t compare to anything else. Going beyond virtual reality, the Hyundai crew visually transported three soldiers to Houston’s NRG Stadium using 360-degree pods that placed them in a suite with their family members attending the game.

The soldiers — who are on a military base in Zagan, Poland — were surrounded by a screen that allowed them to look around the NRG suite and see the field as if they were in the stadium. The families could see the soldiers through a monitor being held by a teddy bear sitting in the suite with them.

Hyundai wasn’t looking to hawk products this year. The brand wanted to apply its “Better Drives Us” philosophy in a way that was bigger than just making quality cars, said Dean Evans, Hyundai’s chief marketing officer.

Evans said the team knew it would be a monumental project going in, but they were driven by the “power of the idea.” The spot was directed by Peter Berg, whose works include Patriots Day, Deepwater Horizon and Friday Night Lights.

“What is the brand really doing to make a statement to the world to really make things better for people that maybe aren’t even Hyundai customers? What are these acts for the brand that you do on a regular basis to make people stand up and go ‘Wow, I love what that brand stands for,’” Evans told Automotive News in the lead-up to the Super Bowl. “We like to say buying a better car starts with a better car company.”