Feb 07, 2017

We Need to Talk about the Hyundai Super Bowl Ad

by: Hayli Goode in News

While the shock of the Patriot’s Super Bowl LI comeback was still fresh on America’s emotions, Hyundai aired an advertisement, produced by ad agency Innocean USA with direction by Peter Berg, in the “post-gun” slot that could have sent almost anyone hugging their families.

Yesterday, Hyundai threw a Super Bowl party at a U.S. Military base in Zagan, Poland. Berg, also the son of a Marine, Berg told USA Today when events like the Super Bowl happen, it “reinforces homesickness” for soldiers stationed far from their families. 

So Berg filmed the Super Bowl party during the first half of the game. Instead of attending the large normal party, however, three soldiers were led into tents. Inside sat a lone, white chair surrounded by a screen that, once live, displayed the game and the soldier’s family at the game, watching with them via 360 video.

"They think that's the experience, they're watching the game," Berg told Good Morning America. "They take the glasses off, the whole pod lights up 360-degrees ... they look to their left and their kids are there, look to the right and their mom's there."

The entire commercial was shot during the first half, edited during Lady Gaga’s halftime performance, then signed off by the Department of Defense, Hyundai, the NFL, and Fox, then ran right after the game.

Ensue feelings.

And that was it. Hyundai allowed service members stationed afar to be virtually transported to the NRG Stadium, spending the Super Bowl with their families at the game. Nowhere in the commercial did the audience see a car.

Eric Springer, chief creative officer of Innocean USA, was quick to note the commercial was not at all virtual reality, but “It’s not something that’s ever been used before or seen before,” said Springer.

TJ Holmes, a reporter for Good Morning America, stated this is the direction a lot of advertisements are headed: Less focus on the actual product and more focus on their brand message, which is “to make things better.” And Hyundai opted to air a car commercial that didn’t show a car in order to get that message across.

Not to mention, their recipe of real-time and technology blended together with a large heap of emotion made for an unforgettable ad: again, without showing their product.

And Berg realized how big of a project he and the car company had taken on. In case things did not go well, Hyundai had prepared two “back up” commercials, starring Joe Montana and Mike Singletary: Both 30-second advertisements also not showing cars.


We’re seeing that more and more, in terms of technology. Companies are trying to use the technology, with expertise and practice, but are prepared in case things don’t go as planned. It’s nothing like the debatable Snickers ad, but that commercial also went off without a hitch.

5 Other Great Ads from the 2017 Super Bowl

It’s a 10

This small haircare brand made its debut in the Super Bowl holding no feelings back. Using jokes about our nation’s current events, the brand encouraged everyone to practice good hair care, for the sake of those who, well, don’t. And we do mean quite literally everyone – from a Millennial woman to a horse rancher, the ad made us feel like we all have a responsibility now.

84 Lumber

If you haven’t already heard of 84 Lumber’s first Super Bowl ad, you’ve missed out on a great discussion. The minute and a half, “documentary” style ad follows an immigrant family along the journey to a new home. It was pointed, and it brought emotions. Interestingly enough, there also was not any lumber shown throughout the commercial. At least in the aired version – you have to visit their website to see what happens to the main characters.

Mr. Clean

The Mr. Clean commercial was just funny and definitely appealed closer to the NSFW category. The lesson of this ad: When a husband cleans, using Mr. Clean products, the wife will swoon.


Skittles did not make a lot of headlines for their 2017 advertisements, but it caught our attention. It was good, until it went too far. The ad plays on the high school dream of a young boy throwing rocks, or in this case, Skittles, at a young girl’s window to get her attention in the middle of the night. But instead of using it to gain her affection, he is actually feeding her, her entire family, and robbers that police officers tried to warn off. The cycle of humans just kept going.


Because, Melissa McCarthy. This isn’t the type of celebrity endorser we would expect, but we’re not mad about it. Melissa McCarthy plays herself in this Kia ad, especially as an activist and always wanting to give back to the environment. But Karma is not in her favor as every attempt to save the world is met with nearly tragic accidents. If anything, it held our attention for a long time.