2011 Hyundai Equus targeting ‘people that can afford to spend more but don’t see the need to’

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Are you a guy in your mid-50s and do you boast an annual household income of $100,000 to $125,000? If you are, then you should know that Hyundai is targeting you and others just like you to consider its high-priced Equus.

When asked to describe this narrow target group, Chris Perry, Hyundai Motor America's marketing chief, said that these are people who could afford a more expensive car but don't see the need to.

Perry said that its advertising for Equus has a tighter focus than what Hyundai did two years ago to promote the Genesis luxury sedan. Expect Equus ads to be seen in the Internet in September. Meanwhile, print and TV spots will be seen in mid-October. This new luxury sedan, which is priced at over $50,000, will be Hyundai's most expensive nameplate.

According to Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik, the target buyer is "very similar in mind-set to the original Lexus customers circa 1990." A big part of the campaign will be Web-focused.

Instead of putting up ads on sites such as the Yahoo.com home page, Hyundai will favor social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, among others. Hyundai will also be placing ads in digital versions of publications offered on Apple's iPad tablet computer. Perry said that the campaign details have yet to be finalized though.

Within the next month, Hyundai is expected to have chosen a theme and completed ad placement negotiations. The creative work is being handled by Innocean Worldwide Americas, a subsidiary of South Korean parent, Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group. Innocean is known for having created Hyundai's "Loyalty" campaign for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

This month, it also launched "Hyundai: Uncensored" TV campaign, which features driver reactions to Hyundai vehicles during ride-and-drives held outside shopping malls in Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

The Genesis launching was done in part to raise the perception of the Hyundai brand in the US. Notably, the Equus is actually more of a niche vehicle and has a much lower volume target than the Genesis -- about 2,000 annually. In the first half of the year, about 12,900 Genesis sedans and coupes were sold. The car is priced from $33,800, including shipping.

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