- Hyundai is sponsoring a four-part series on streaming video network Tastemade that debuts on June 3. Each episode of "The Un-Adventurers" tells the story of a real person who leaves their home state for the first time to embark on a fantasy road trip, per an announcement.
- Actor and TV commentator Selema "Sal" Masekela is hosting the series, which shows him driving each participant on their dream road trip while discussing how travel can inspire personal growth. Hyundai will feature its Kona, Palisade, Santa Fe, Tucson and Kona SUVs in each episode.
- Hyundai worked with agency of record Innocean USA and media agency Canvas Worldwide on the series, which can be streamed on YouTube TV, Samsung TV Plus, VIZIO SmartCast TVs, The Roku Channel and Comcast Xfinity X1, among others, per its announcement.
Hyundai's sponsorship of a video series on Tastemade marks a shift in its marketing efforts after the coronavirus pandemic led many car brands to emphasize other themes like helping communities and consumers. In developing "The Un-Adventures," Hyundai cited research that found 35 million Americans have never left the state they were born in — and that was before the pandemic led to restrictions on travel. As many regions end lockdowns and summer driving season gets under way, Hyundai is now showing how its SUVs can help drivers to make their dreams of escaping on a road trip come true.
The video series is a sign that brands are returning to more traditional marketing themes that showcase product features rather than solely pandemic relief. The company in March had canceled its regular vehicle spots to promote its spring sales event. Instead, it ran a campaign on broadcast, digital and social media to highlight its Assurance Job Loss Protection program that defers payments for people who recently bought or leased a car and lost their job during a certain timeframe. The replacement "Unpredictable" spot by Innocean USA touts how "nothing is more important than family, especially in uncertain times."
Hyundai's video series is the second collaboration with Tastemade after producing three seasons of "The Grill Iron" from 2014 to 2016 as part of its college football campaigns, per its announcement. By sponsoring a longer-form video series, Hyundai can tell a more complete brand story that weaves its messaging with a narrative that emphasizes positive themes like self-discovery from travel adventures. Such brand-safe programming has become more popular in recent years, with marketers such as Lexus, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Campari's Wild Turkey bourbon developing original series that aim to inform and entertain while showcasing products.
By teaming with Tastemade, Hyundai can reach the publisher's large audience, which notches 300 million monthly viewers on all major digital, mobile and streaming television platforms, according to the press release.