Sometimes consumers just want “Assurance”

Take a guess at who was Ad Age’s marketer of the year in 2009 and I bet the first thing that comes to your mind are sexy brands like Coke, Pepsi, Nike, Budweiser, etc. How shocked would you be to hear that it was Hyundai with their Assurance Program they rolled out in 2009? You know the one with Jeff Bridges (now Academy Award Winning Jeff Bridges) doing the voice over telling you that if you buy a new Hyundai and lose your income in the year after purchasing it you can return it FREE OF CHARGE.

Hyundai’s market share jumped to 4.3% in the first ten months of 2009 from 3.1% in the same year-ago period. In September, while the industry overall suffered a 22% sales drop in a post-Cash for Clunkers hangover, Hyundai managed to increase its new-vehicle tally by 27% to 31,511 units.

“This is a recession of fear,” Joel Ewanick, Hyundai’s VP-marketing told Advertising Age back in February. “We realized that the elephant in the room was the fear of losing your job. I feel the same way. We all do. The idea of giving people the option to give the car back if they were struggling . . . seemed a great way to make customers comfortable and increase our market share in an economy like this.”

Ahhh…the old trick of taping into human emotion overcomes again! Seems like sometimes all consumers are looking for is a little bit of assurance and someone to trust in and unsure time. Hyundai sure has raised the bar and maybe it’s time others followed in this unfortunate situation we’re all in.

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