Around since the 1990s, the idea of electric vehicles (EVs) isn’t new. Several private companies and national governments have endeavored to reduce carbon emissions and revolutionise personal transport by making EVs affordable to make and attractive to purchase.
Finally, Korean car-maker Hyundai may have found the magic formula to tip the scales and bring EVs to the next generation. Just over a month ago, it launched an original music video featuring its brand ambassadors – revered boy band BTS – to introduce its standalone EV line, IONIQ.
Through this music video, IONIQ aims to speak directly to these engaged young people who share the car-maker’s values
The brand launch reinforces the company’s commitment to zero-emission solutions and its transformation as a Smart Mobility Solution Provider, and the music video amplifies that message with unprecedented effectiveness. A catchy and shareable music video in its own right, it’s also a clever piece of marketing that has ensured that everyone from music critics and vloggers to business websites and trade magazines is talking about Hyundai.
What’s so great about a K-Pop video, you might ask. Well, first of all, there’s the sheer artistry. The two-and-a-half-minute song, titled IONIQ – I’m On It, is an original composition by BTS, and the music video enlists the directing chops of Hanki Goh, responsible for inspiring, narrative-style commercials for the likes of KIA and Samsung.
Shot across indoor and outdoor sets in Seoul and Jeju Island, the video features the seven band members in surreal locations – among crashing waves, mirror mazes and living rooms filled with beach sand. The bilingual lyrics underscore a spirit of hopefulness, adventure and also reflection. The appearance of the sleek black IONIQ Prophecy among the musicians aligns IONIQ’s brand values with the song’s message.
Then there’s the timing of the launch on 2 September, which built on the energy of the MTV VMAs just two days prior. For the livestreamed event, BTS not only performed a debut of their new song Dynamic, but also swept up four different awards, including Best Pop Video for their single On as well as Best Group.
And finally, there’s the public reception. Since the video was launched on the Hyundai Worldwide YouTube channel, it has garnered nearly 24 million views, the second-highest for the car-maker. Viewer comments range from “I still can’t believe this is an ad” to “You’re about to make me buy a Hyundai”. The video has also become material for reaction videos by young vloggers and influencers from all over the world, such as MrSammyCam from the UK, American JREKML and Germany’s FloderFlo K-Pop.
Everyone from music critics and vloggers to business websites and trade magazines is talking about Hyundai
Perhaps the hottest musical act in the world at the moment, the BTS boys have been brand ambassadors for Hyundai since 2018. The two Korean cultural icons have collaborated on several environmentally themed commercials, including June’s Positive Energy for World Environment Day and the 60-second For the Earth marking Earth Day. BTS has spoken about environmental issues and even addressed the United Nations on youth empowerment. Like the band, its fans – affectionately called the BTS Army – are concerned with issues extending far beyond pop music, and have organised coordinated campaigns for social justice issues.
Through the incredible buzz around this music video, IONIQ aims to speak directly to these engaged young people who share the car-maker’s values. Hyundai’s global chief marketing officer Wonhong Cho says, “The new IONIQ line-up is Hyundai Motor’s answer to environmental problems and sustainable global communities that millennials and Gen-Z generations are concerned about.”
In the coming four years, IONIQ intends to launch several new electric cars, including a crossover utility vehicle, a sports utility vehicle and a sedan. And if the YouTube comments are anything to go by, millions of BTS fans around the world will certainly consider buying one.
Download the song and learn more about the creative process behind the lyrics here.
*Produced by SilverKris for Hyundai*