Get in the fast lane to PR success with simple messaging…

Written by



I have a confession to make. I know we are only at the beginning of February, but car adverts don’t really do it for me. Maybe it’s because I’m only interested in getting from A to B rather than getting excited over the latest model to hit the market, or perhaps it’s because they always seem to pop up right in the middle of a TV programme I’m enjoying.

But here’s the thing, car maker Hyundai have annoyingly caught my attention with their latest advert for the UK.

Rather than zooming in with the usual format for car advertising campaigns featuring a shiny new car gliding through some remote road you have never heard of, the South Korean company have opted for an injection of humour and a ‘did you know?’ moment.

It turns out that for all these years, us Brits have wrongly been pronouncing Hyundai as ‘Hy-un-dai’. The 30-second clip follows various people trying in vain to search for the name of the car maker using the voice assistant on their mobile phone. Rather than sending them to their nearest Hyundai dealership, their mispronunciation leads them to all manner of wonderful places instead, such as the High ‘N’ Dye Hair Salon, Haiwean Tie and Highland Eye.

Hyundai say they wanted to ‘inject a little humour’ to encourage more people to learn about the company. Of course, they are also trying to lure you in to find out about their latest model, but the sell is achieved in a much more subtle and appealing manner.

Thinking out of the box

So, for me, it’s a winning formula that shows those behind the marketing campaign have put some serious time and effort into thinking out the box about how best to convey their key messaging in a fun and engaging way.

Sounds simple, right? Well, you would be surprised by how many blue-chip brands fail to hit the mark despite having marketing budgets stretching beyond seven figures. Just a few weeks ago, Sainsbury’s was forced to withdraw a clothing advert, as it was perceived to ignore women’s safety by encouraging them to walk in the dark.

Thinking about your key messages and how you want to communicate them to your audience is vital in setting the tone on how you want the media and wider public to view your company or organisation.

Try and concentrate on just ONE key message (usually no more than 20 words and not too complex or full of jargon) that gives you a quotable soundbite, as most people won’t remember more than one major point.

Surprise factor

Why does your story matter and do you have a key fact, or finding, that you want your audience to go away with? Hyundai provided the viewer with a surprise fact about the company, using humour and cleverly tapping into the ‘human interest’ factor.

The advert says: “If you thought you knew our cars and how to say our name, maybe it’s time to think again.” Not an overt sales pitch but a friendly arm around the shoulder, bringing Hyundai’s message to life and including a call to action to go and find out more about the brand and its products.

As the saying goes, old habits die hard. But Hyundai have started a fun conversation that will get people talking about them in a positive way. And, just in case I forget, the correct pronunciation is Hyundai, like Sunday.

At Cavendish Advocacy, we have an award-winning PR and Media Relations team based across the UK, adept at crafting key messaging and positioning clients to better communicate with key audiences. To find out more about our media training packages, or to discuss how we can support your business or organisation, please get in touch with Michael


Please complete the form below to receive the latest news, events and information from Cavendish.


Make your voice
make a difference.