Hyundai taps Kevin Bacon for new EV marketing campaign

If you were an alien, someone from Earth could tell you what Kevin Bacon did on the big screen and you’d think he was some kind of superhero. He once brought a city together through the power of dance. He also killed subterranean monsters that trick-eat people in Nevada. Only one very important detail would have to be left out by the earthling: that Kevin Bacon is an actor. In fact, this has already happened (with a hilarious ending) in a Guardians of the Galaxy special.

Even for people who know he’s an actor, he’s still among the most influential. Many people play the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game because he has been in so many popular films that you could connect any actor to him within six steps. This is also a variant of the “six degrees of separation” theory.

So it’s no surprise that Hyundai recently hired him and his daughter to help promote electric vehicles. And Hyundai hopes people can see EVs as a (and a good) lifestyle change. Kevin Bacon and his daughter Sosie will bring the It’s Time to Go Electric campaign message to life through broadcast and social media commercials. The first ad is scheduled to run during the professional football conference championship games on January 29th.

“With the launch of the IONIQ 6, Hyundai is once again making the electric vehicle lifestyle more accessible and convenient than ever,” said Angela Zepeda, CMO, Hyundai Motor America. “If you’re about to go electric, we hope this campaign, starring Kevin and Sosie Bacon, will show how early adopters can easily make the switch at every stage of their lives.”

“Your Dad Is Going Electric,” the 60- and 30-second hero spots, follows Kevin and Sosie Bacon on an electric adventure in his new IONIQ 6. The commercial puts a comedic twist on the father-daughter bond to show it off for to illustrate them The “elderly” father switched to electric vehicles long before most other customers.

In this short commercial we introduce Kevin – a passionate early adopter who can’t resist showing off the amazing features of his new Hyundai IONIQ 6. To take away any concerns about charging times and range from potential customers, Hyundai proudly presents that the IONIQ 6 can be charged from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes with its 350kW 800V DC Ultra Fast Charger. Even more impressive is the SE RWD model with up to 361 miles per range.

In addition to the main spot, there will also be a second spot called “Grandkids”.

Ads will continue to appear on broadcast and digital media platforms after the conclusion of the championship games until March, when the IONIQ 6 will be available for purchase. Contextual social media content, highlighting its outstanding features like load time, bluelink, digital key, etc., is being shared across a variety of channels like YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to increase awareness.

Acclaimed Will Speck and Josh Gordon, Oscar-nominated directors of feature films and TV commercials from the GEICO Cavemen series, directed these new spots. The magnificent production was carried out by Furlined – a respected production company that is no stranger to awards.

You don’t have to be a football fan to see the spots

I know not everyone is a football fan (I’m not), so I have great news. Hyundai went ahead and linked to the TV spots in its press release. Let’s take a look at them!

At this point, the daughter introduces her father (who needs no introduction) and says that he “gone EV”. She says he’s “locked out of his emails forever,” or in other words, that he’s getting older and not very tech-savvy. But he’s proud to be an early adopter. He points out that “EV” rhymes with “Kev” and tells strangers how quickly it charges. One of the strangers asks if he is Kevin Bacon. The daughter also sells EVs (“Go ahead.”) but is still embarrassed that her father excitedly talks about the EV to strangers.

For the YouTube version, he even “subscribes” to Hyundai by sending in a postcard from a magazine, but tells us we can do it the new way by clicking.

In the shorter spot, he hints that he’s transitioning to EV for future generations, but his daughter sees it as pressure to move on and have kids. He “olds” himself again at the end by showing his struggle to subscribe to the YouTube channel (the button is too small for an aging man to see).

If I had to summarize everything Hyundai is trying to tell us is that even older people who are out of touch can buy and enjoy an electric vehicle. So, unless you’re old and out of touch, no EV means you’re old and behind the times, and even older and behind the times than Kevin Bacon. Ouch!

Something like this seemed impossible just a few years ago

One thing that really struck me about this ad campaign is that years ago you wouldn’t have seen anything like it. Personally, I think celebrity ads can be cheesy and weird, but if they’re trying to strike a comedic tone and have fun instead of leaning entirely on the celebrity’s fame, they’re fine. But in any case, hiring a celebrity to play themselves in a commercial doesn’t come cheap.

Electric vehicles used to be something that manufacturers either did in small numbers in a halfhearted way (compliance cars), or something they just paid another company like Tesla to avoid doing. Now we see a mainstream manufacturer selling a decent vehicle using a big celebrity ad in an expensive sporting event. This would have never been seen ten years ago, and in most cases even five years ago.

It really shows us how far EVs have come, but at the same time we’re just emerging from the early adopter stage and moving into the mainstream. If you haven’t gotten into an EV yet (and don’t have a good excuse like affordability), you’d better get in before it goes out of style and “old”.

Featured image provided by Hyundai.




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