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Advertising & Marketing | AD REVIEWS / DENISE GELLENE

Hyundai Ads Take Worry Out of Purchase

November 12, 1998|DENISE GELLENE

Advertiser: Hyundai Motor America

Agency: Bates USA West, Irvine

Challenge: Creatively pitch Hyundai's new warranty program.

The Ads: In TV and print ads, Hyundai hits the highlights of its warranty program. A print ad appeals to consumers' curiosity with the question, "Will your next car have this revolutionary new part?" The TV spot also uses a question, "Guess which car company offers America's best warranty?" (You've guessed it.) Both ads sum up the terms of Hyundai's new-car warranty, which, according to the South Korea-based auto maker, covers various parts and provides roadside assistance for a longer period than warranties on other new cars sold in the U.S. Terms include a five-year, 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty; a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the powertrain; and five years of no-cost roadside assistance.

Comment: With its warranty offer, Hyundai is attempting to overcome its image as a maker of poor-quality cars. While Hyundai won't say how much the new warranty program will cost the company, it said that expenses under its previous warranty program have declined 20% in the last 18 months--a sign that quality has improved. But Hyundai continues to hover near the bottom of customer satisfaction rankings produced by AutoPacific and other consulting firms. And Hyundai's sales have declined dramatically; 1998 sales through October are down 11.9% from a year ago. (Lower sales haven't played a role in reduced warranty costs, according to company representative Tom Dell.) The enhanced warranty takes much of the risk out of owning a Hyundai and using a simple, direct message to describe it is smart. $$$

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