Few industries have been locked into such a defined cycle of launching new products as automotive. Vehicle brands have grown used to the familiar, reassuring, pattern of unveiling their new designs by harnessing the spectacle and global reach of the world’s biggest motor shows.
But with major motor events including the Geneva, Detroit and Paris shows all cancelled in 2020 due to concerns around Covid-19, the emphasis has shifted firmly to finding new, and innovative, routes to launch a new car.
This is a spirit embraced fully by Hyundai. Despite restrictions on live events due to the pandemic, Hyundai has demonstrated its bold thinking by taking the opportunity to explore a new avenue for launching its Ioniq electric vehicle (EV) brand through a series of well-coordinated collaborations and content, the first of which is the ‘I’m In Charge’ film.
Before looking in more detail at the creative approach, first some context on the new vehicles and the consumer demand that has inspired their development. Under the new Ioniq brand, announced in August, Hyundai will introduce three electric vehicles starting with the Ioniq 5 next year.
The Ioniq brand embodies Hyundai’s commitment to interact with customers and deliver differentiated experience through electrification. And it’s clear that this meets with shifting consumer demand in terms of sustainability and a move to road travel post-Covid.
New research among UK consumers by OnePoll reveals that almost 30% of the nation is interested in trying an EV within the next five years, and “being green” was named as one of the most important goals for young Brits aged 18-34 (58%). Zooming out from the UK, over the last six months there has been increased awareness and concern on a global scale around transport, housing and the environment. Hyundai tackles this head on with its vision for the future, 'Progress for Humanity' which sees the brand playing a pivotal role in global society’s transition to clean energy and clean mobility.
This emphasis on sustainability is important to Hyundai. The core target audience for the Ioniq range is 'Sustainable Socials' - inspired by innovation, this is a group that is highly motivated by a social consciousness and believes in leading engaged, sustainable lifestyles for the good of all. People in this group also tend to embrace the idea that technological innovations are essential in the global transition to an eco-friendly, renewable future.
The launch of Hyundai IONIQ allows Hyundai access to this younger, sustainable social, audience, and the company’s ambition is that the campaign grows consideration and intent to purchase for the brand.
With this consumer focus in mind, Hyundai’s ‘I’m in Charge’ film represents a fresh approach towards launching a car brand. It combines bold, cinematic direction with passionate storytelling to showcase Ioniq’s smart mobility vision while displaying Hyundai’s push to offer a connected lifestyle experience to customers through its Ioniq brand models.
The film is directed by up-and-coming New York filmmaker Amber Grace Johnson, who has won acclaim for her direction of music promos for Jorja Smith and Kali Uchis alongside commercials for fashion and beauty brands, including Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. Renowned for her inspired storytelling 'I’m in Charge' sees Grace Johnson taking the viewer on a breathtaking cinematic journey across the world, from the plains of Kenya to glaciers and urban environments to reflect the idea that sustainability is a global issue.
Telling the story from a variety of perspectives, the film features characters that inspire everyone to feel empowered to 'do the right thing'. So, while the landscape changes, the message is consistent – 'change is possible'.
Launching today, 17 November, the film delivers the idea that we can all make a difference in pushing for a better and more sustainable future. This message of empowerment is linked to the idea that the launch of Ioniq enables people to make their own changes, putting power in the hands of humanity.
The film features real people who champion sustainability. From Debra, a Kenyan actress and model, to Kevin, a dancer from Paris, the global cast were selected on the basis that each of their values fit those of the brand. Long-time Hyundai partners, global superstars BTS, also make up part of the ensemble.
‘I’m in Charge’ will run across all CNN and BBC international channels, and Korea’s own terrestrial network, together with Hyundai’s worldwide digital and social channels. It will also be shown on Piccadilly Circus’ famous out-of-home screens in November.
Through its message that people can change the world for the better, the film, and the impending arrival of the Ioniq range, highlight that a new era is coming for motorists. One in which they will feel more empowered, more connected, and more environmentally responsible. “We can all share positive energy”, says the film’s voiceover and that’s the real power that the new Ioniq will deliver to people.