Ushering in a new dawn for Hyundai and the global pronunciation of its name.



Hyundai, one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, has been on a transformative journey into the world of electrification and alternative fuel vehicles – unrecognisable from the brand that launched in the UK many years ago, winning awards left right and centre for its unique designs and clever technology. IONIQ 5, Hyundai’s flagship all-electric vehicle, had recently been voted World Car of the Year 2022, so it was a good time to draw attention to the progress the brand has made through a national campaign, with the aim of increasing brand awareness and consideration.

It was also a great time to introduce UK audiences to the global pronunciation of the brand name; traditionally, the UK had always pronounced it differently to everywhere else, and this was the moment to introduce a change. With these objectives firmly in mind, we set to work.


The centrepiece of our campaign was a nationwide TV advert. People in the UK don’t usually take too well to being lectured on how to do or say things, and we knew that if we were to achieve the objective of introducing the global pronunciation of the brand name, we’d have to do it in a way that didn’t sound too telly – especially as the brand had been using the UK pronunciation for years beforehand.

So we knew that humour and characterisation were important. Cue a montage of people asking their phones to take them to “Hy-un-dai”, only to find themselves somewhere else entirely, be it the High ‘n’ Dye hair salon, the High End Pie catering van, a Hawaiian Tie clothing shop, or something else equally as silly. The film ends with a frustrated man outside Highland Eye opticians being helped by a driver of an IONIQ, who points out it’s pronounced “Hyun-dae, by the way”. Which of course, the phone now recognises.

The TV ad was supported by a national radio campaign to promote awareness of the brand’s recent award wins, and financial offers. The mispronunciation theme translating neatly into the audio-only format.


Having invented a number of fictious businesses all with names that might be confused with “Hyundai” for the TV ad, we decided to expand on the idea by giving each of them their own real life setting. We created a simple web page for each business, purchased the web domains, and brought them to life.  Each page had its own look and feel, whilst also signposting people that if it’s not what they’re after, to head over to

To complete the journey, we ran search ads and social media assets that encouraged people to explore the sites themselves before ultimately finding out more about Hyundai and the progress the brand has made.


The campaign has performed exceptionally well. According to the YouGov poll in January 2023, Hyundai enjoyed the biggest increase in brand awareness for January going from 5.4 on Christmas Day, the day before it broke, up to 18.7 – a jump of 13.3 percentage points, making it their “Auto Advertiser of the Month”.

It continued to perform effectively all the way through February and into March 2023, with YouGov’s follow up analysis stating that it’s not an incremental increase in brand chatter, but a quantum leap, with huge increases in word of mouth and ad awareness (tripling from Boxing Day to mid February 2023). Brand consideration was also more than 2 percentage points higher on 1st February 2023 than a year earlier, going from 13.5% to 15.7%.

It was also talked about by high profile presenters including Chris Evans on radio and Rory Reid for AutoTrader. And it generated a lot of chatter on socials, with a mixture of opinions – some people welcoming the different pronunciation whilst others steadfastly promising never to change.  But regardless of whether people adopt the new pronunciation or not, it doesn’t matter. It’s resonated with the consumer, got people talking about the brand and has had a positive, real effect on business performance.