The most important performance during The Oscars this Sunday evening won’t be by host Seth MacFarlane or any of the celebrity presenters — it’ll be by Hyundai.
The plucky Korean brand will have the national TV stage all to itself as the exclusive automotive sponsor of the 85th Academy Awards, on ABC. At a total presumed investment of somewhere north of $15 million, in its fifth consecutive year as the only advertising car maker, Hyundai will show up with nine ads comprising seven 30-second spots promoting as many models during the ceremony as well as two more 30-second ads during pre-show coverage.
The prospect of the largest TV audience for the Academy Awards in several years could make Hyundai’s investment pay off more handsomely than usual.
“We’re bullish on the chances for ratings this year, with the combination of films that were critically acclaimed and that also did big box office” in 2012, Steve Shannon, CMO for Hyundai of America, told me. “We just like the feel of the Oscars.”
It’s a more rarefied venue, to be sure, than the Super Bowl. Oscar ads run at about half the cost of a spot during Super Bowl XLVII on CBS, or about $1.65 million to $1.8 million for 30 seconds — more than previous broadcasts. And with significantly fewer advertising slots to be had during The Oscars than during the Big Game, each ad tends to have more impact.
Shannon likes three other important aspects of Oscars advertising that especially fit a recent media strategy Hyundai has called “Big Voices, Big Places”: female domination of the viewership, the luxury setting of the affair and the brand’s category exclusivity.
“It’s more female-skewing, which is nice,” he said. “With an environment of style and sophistication, it’s a really great fit” for Hyundai premium models Genesis, Azera and Equus. Being the only car brand in the telecast, Shannon explained, helps give Hyundai “the chance to tell a much richer and deeper story, and we can feature [every product.] We’ll have a particular focus on luxury products but we can showcase the whole brand and the whole lineup.”
Plus, Hyundai will lend an Oscars-specific element to some of the spots for the telecast’s “Hollywood-loving, film-culture-loving crowd,” Shannon said. “Each one, in a slightly different way, has a nod to film that the audience will appreciate,” such as one ad in which Bridges breaks in to take back the mike from an over-exuberant voice-over man who has made an action-movie-trailer-style pitch for the Equus sedan.
As seen on http://www.forbes.com