Hyundai believes that its brand name is now more famous in Europe, especially when it comes to social media, after having sponsored the Euro 2012 soccer championship. When interviewed by Automotive News Europe, Hyundai Europe marketing head Mark Hall said that the traffic from the showrooms has yet to be quantified but with the 43% increase in Facebook fans, it appears positive. Hyundai’s fans in Europe increased to about 286,000 from 200,000 before the European soccer competition started. The exact figures for the number of people who viewed the tournament weren’t released yet. Hall said that the tournament had 20 million viewers in Germany.
In addition, the audiences numbered 22 million in Italy, 18 million in Spain and 20 million in the UK. He thinks that the television figures for 2012 will exceed the 6.6 billion viewers recorded for Euro 2008. He said that it’s vital for Hyundai to let audiences be familiar with the brand. However, he said that Hyundai’s brand awareness is “less than half” what Toyota has. Hall said that Euro 2012, which is selected for its broad popularity throughout the region, seemed to be a good brand fit.
He said that football is the “perfect vehicle” to promote the brand and make people perceive it as an “aspirational brand” that’s dynamic as well as passionate. The goal is to raise Hyundai’s marketing budget in the couple of years between the Euro championship and the World Cup, where Hyundai is also the sponsor of. For now, Hyundai Europe makes up around 4% of the total automotive advertising expenses in the region. Hall said that the company’s investment in ads would have to be about 1.6 to 1.7 times its market share. He said that the company is nearer to 1.4 and so it will have to continue with its investments.