We’ve been a little cynical in the past about Hyundai’s promotional campaign for the Sonata Turbo, the Sonata is not exactly the kind of car any of us would associate with ‘speed’ – in fact stick a Taxi sign on its roof and it would look right at home waiting in the taxi-rank at Slough station. But over in the USA, where there’s always been a greater affinity for Japanese and Korean marques, Hyundai have been mounting a campaign to transform the Sonata’s dowdy image and re-position it as a car to be desired rather than just used.

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”center”]Remember how your Mom would say, if you keep making that face it will stick that way. Let’s.. hope she wasn’t right.[/blockquote]

The web video has been surprisingly popular (for Hyundai), spawning numerous take-offs, with Hyundai even adding a face-morphing app to their Facebook page that fans can use to turbofy their own face.

Visit Hyunda's facebook page to turbofy your own face
You can visit Hyundai’s facebook page and turbofy an image of your own face – we chose a picture of Fernando Alonso, just to see how an already ‘fast face’ would look when turbofied..

But despite being billed as a social media campaign the implementation seems half-hearted, less than 500 people have liked the http://www.facebook.com/sonataturboface page and has only been updated 4 times with some behind-the-scenes video edits of the advertising campaign.

The team behind the campaign have now moved across to print media, so if you’re in the USA then you’ll soon be spotting the ads in your favourite magazines and newspapers.

Will it work for Hyundai? I suspect not. US advertisers have a track-record of trying to change customer opinion by promoting an overly strong message, but even with 270 bhp and 269 ft-lbs of torque this campaign requires the viewers imagination to stretch just a little too far.

Still, it generates conversation about Hyundai which is a pretty decent outcome for the brand.

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Written By

Steve Davies

Steve is an investor, private equity advisor and former Partner at KPMG, PwC and Bain.   Most importantly he's a life-long car enthusiast, mountain biker and active sports enthusiast. He designs and builds technology platforms and is the architect behind Transmission.

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