How Hyundai won the hearts of a nation with YouTube

To celebrate its 20 years in India, the Hyundai Motor Group implemented one of the country’s biggest YouTube-first campaigns. Here’s how one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world reached more than 240 million unique users on YouTube.

Taking a bet on nostalgia

Nostalgia can be a powerful driver for brand engagement — and that’s especially the case when you’re able to show some of those emotions in video.

Using digital videos featuring stories about family traditions and Indian heritage, Hyundai aimed to foster conversation about its legacy in India. To celebrate the country’s 20 years of commitment to the brand, the company used its YouTube campaign to tap into its customer nostalgia. With its corresponding Brilliant Moments contest, people were encouraged to share their personal stories about the car company’s impact on their lives. Throughout the campaign, Hyundai looked to improve key brand metrics around recall, perception, and purchase intent. By focusing its strategy on YouTube, the company knew it could grab attentive reach from audiences on the platform.

In the first of two videos, a son is at odds with his father’s reluctance to sell a 20-year-old Hyundai — only to discover that 20 years of growing up with the car was priceless.

In the second video for the campaign, an aging soldier recounts how a kind stranger from 20 years ago drove him in his Hyundai to his first military posting.

In a follow-up to these two initial videos, Hyundai released a series of 10 videos that featured the best story submissions from its Brilliant Moments contest.

More than 18K Hyundai stories shared

Within 45 days of launching the campaign, Hyundai attracted more than 240 million unique users to its two YouTube videos — totaling more than 424 million views. By the end of the campaign, the company added more than 544,000 subscribers to its YouTube channel. During the Brilliant Moments contest, more than 18,000 people submitted entries through YouTube, and overall brand perception and purchase saw an uplift of 18%.

Developing a YouTube-first approach

Hyundai was able to use powerful stories in its YouTube-first approach to compel viewers to take action. There are two key takeaways from Hyundai’s strategy that you can implement for your own YouTube-first approach.

  • Invest in great storytelling. By creating an engaging story that’s relevant to your audience, you can drive branding and performance results on YouTube. Producing longer video content paid off for Hyundai, and touched its customers’ emotions with impactful storytelling.
  • Plan a content life cycle. When considering a digital-first approach, it’s important to plan for the entire life cycle of the campaign to maximize reach and impact. By releasing its videos in stages, Hyundai kept its audience engaged over a longer period while building additional brand loyalty through YouTube.
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