Hyundai Ad Beats the Clock

Hyundai and its ad agency, Innocean USA, have redefined the phrase “tight deadline.”

Beat the Clock
You may have missed Hyundai’s ad, as it appeared immediately following the Super Bowl. Why wait until the game is over to debut your ad? There’s a good reason.

Hyundai teamed up with its ad agency, Department of Defense and a Hollywood director to pull off arguably the most complex Super Bowl ad ever produced. As the troops at a U.S. Military Base in Poland gathered to watch the game, a few of them got an unexpected surprise from home.

In an interview with USA Today, the chief creative officer for the ad agency mentioned that we constantly see videos of military men and women surprising their families, but what we don’t see are family members surprising soldiers – and that’s just what they set out to do.

Three soldiers, Sgt. Richard Morrill, SPC Erik Guerrero and Cpl. Trista Strauch, were selected by the military in advance. Their family members were invited to watch the game in Hyundai’s box seats at NRG Stadium. In that box seat was a 360-degree camera.

Hyundai placed 360-degree immersive pods with a seat in the middle at the military base in Poland. They looked like above ground swimming pools. The soldiers each took a seat in the middle of one of the pods – completely surrounded. When the pod was turned on, they were surprised to see the game in front of them, and their family members beside and behind them. Their reaction was priceless.

So what was the timeline for this ad spot? The ad was filmed during the first quarter, developed during the second quarter and halftime, and then passed off to the Department of Defense, then the NFL, then Fox and then, of course, Hyundai. That left them with the third quarter to make any changes and the fourth quarter to get it placed.

Peter Berg, the Hollywood director credited with Friday Night Lights and Lone Survivor, admitted that the ambitious and complex timeline was somewhat intimidating, telling USA Today – “I think it is the most complex thing I’ve ever been involved in.”

I’d argue it also might be one of the most inspiring.