Comedian stars in what’s so far the most hilarious car ad for Super Bowl LIII

Hyundai is using its Super Bowl LIII commercial to promote its Shopper Assurance program for buyers, and it even tagged actor, director, and comedian, Jason Bateman, along for the ride. Given Bateman’s presence, the commercial is light with its tone with splashes of humor sprinkled in to get the audience’s attention. In the end, Hyundai isn’t promoting a specific model in its ad, though it did include a cameo from the Hyundai Palisade, the company’s all-new big boy SUV. The commercial is all about promoting Hyundai’s Shopper Assurance and, while it didn’t exactly drive home the point of what the program is all about, the ad succeeded in showcasing that it’s available for customers who need it. The 60-second spot will run at some point in the first quarter of the Super Bowl.

Hyundai has a long history of producing entertaining Super Bowl commercials, though, in recent years, it’s put less of a focus on promoting its new models with its ads. Two years ago, Hyundai created an in-game commercial featuring U.S. troops stationed in Zagan, Poland and their families, all of whom were invited to watch the game at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Last year, the automaker adopted a similar approach with its “Hope Detector” commercial, showing up at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota to “thank” Hyundai owners for their involvement in the company’s “Hope on Wheels” program.

This year, Hyundai isn’t going to tug our heartstrings, but it will tickle our funny bones with “The Elevator,” starring Jason Bateman.

As you might expect, the 60-second commercial isn’t about a specific model, though the Hyundai Palisade’s short cameo in the ad is about as good a product placement as you can get. The commercial is all about shining a spotlight on Hyundai’s Shopper Assurance program, which is revealed in the end after what looks like one of the most interesting elevator rides you can possibly have.

Hyundai's Super Bowl LIII Commercial “The Elevator” Features Jason Bateman
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Here’s how the ad goes: a couple enters an elevator to find Jason Bateman playing the role of an elevator operator. But this isn’t a normal elevator with traditional stops on specific floors. This elevator looks like it came from the Ministry of Magic in the Harry Potter movies. Instead of actual floors, the stops are locations that we all find ourselves in at some point in our lives, regardless if they’re pleasant or not.

There’s a root canal stop, jury duty, the middle seat of an airplane, and a vegan dinner party with beet loaf — is that even a thing? — as the specialty.

Bateman stops at a traditional car dealership to let the couple out, but the couple points out that they’re using Hyundai’s Shopper Assurance to which Bateman’s character responds by bringing them to the “top floor” where Hyundai’s Shopper Assurance program is located.

The ad is entertaining, sure, but it has one flaw. The narrator breezed through its description of the Shopper Assurance program without talking about what exactly it’s all about. Basically, Hyundai Shopper Assurance is a program that Hyundai believes makes the purchase of a car easier and faster for customers. “We understand that shopping for a new car is typically something people don’t look forward to,” said Dean Evans, chief marketing officer, Hyundai Motor America. “However, our dealers are using Shopper Assurance as a north star in helping evolve and improve the retail experience.

Hyundai's Super Bowl LIII Commercial “The Elevator” Features Jason Bateman
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The program has four steps, or elements, as Hyundai describes them. The first element is Transparent Pricing. This basically gives customers a clear idea on how much a Hyundai model costs minus possible incentives and dealership-offered discounts. As a customer, you want to know how much you’re paying for a car and with this step, Hyundai’s Shopper Assurance program lays it all out in front of you, eliminating any surprise gimmicks along the way.

Once the price is clear to the customer, Hyundai gives the customer the option to conduct a test drive for any new vehicle through Hyundai Drive, a platform the automaker created that allows the scheduling of test drives, either through a dealership, a phone, or a custom-built app. Hyundai calls this element Flexible Test Drive. The customer can conduct the test drive on his own terms, too.

Once a schedule is set, Hyundai will deliver the test-drive model to a location of the customer’s choosing, whether ever he is at any specific point in time.

When the test drive ends and a customer is ready to make the purchase, he can complete most of the paperwork online before he has to visit the dealership. This element, called Streamlined Purchase, helps reduce the total transaction time of buying a Hyundai because the customer can do all the necessary paperwork, including financing, obtaining credit approvals, calculating payment estimates and valuing trade-ins, from the comfort of his own couch.

Hyundai's Super Bowl LIII Commercial “The Elevator” Features Jason Bateman
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As soon as a customer takes delivery of his new Hyundai, he has three days to test out the vehicle and see if he wants to keep it. If he’s not satisfied, Hyundai’s Three-Day, Worry-Free Exchange program allows the customer to go back to the dealership to return the car and exchange it for another model. This process is contingent upon a dealership inspection and the vehicle having fewer than 300 miles since its time of purchase or lease.

Obviously, there are terms and conditions included in Hyundai’s Shopper Assurance program, but for the most part, the whole program exists specifically to help customers expedite the transaction process behind buying a car.

Apparently, the program has been successful enough that since Hyundai launched the program in February 2018, 77 percent of Hyundai’s sales volume have come through the Shopper’s Assurance Program. More importantly, customers who used the program have responded favorably to it. To date, a total of 632 of Hyundai’s dealerships now offer the Shopper’s Assurance voluntary program.

I’m guessing that’s a big reason why Hyundai’s spending a lot of its advertising dollars on a commercial that focuses on showcasing the program to everyone who’s going to watch Super Bowl LIII this Sunday.

2020 Hyundai Palisade engine specifications

Engine 3.8-liter 6-cylinder
Materials Aluminum block and head
Bore & stroke (mm) 87 X 96
Compression ratio 13.0 : 1
Displacement 3.8 liters / 3,778 cc
Horsepower 291 @ 6,000 RPM (preliminary estimate)
Torque (lb.-ft.) 262 @ 5,000 RPM (preliminary estimate)
Transmission 8-speed Automatic

Further reading

2020 Hyundai Palisade Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2020 Hyundai Palisade.

This year, Hyundai’s humorous Super Bowl commercial shows how Hyundai Shopper Assurance can elevate the car buying experience without the fearful glances and groans of life’s other dreadful moments. The 60-second ad, “The Elevator,” will air during the first quarter of the game.

In the spot, Jason Bateman stars as an elevator operator in a building full of life’s best and worst experiences. When a happy couple explains they are going car shopping, the elevator descends stopping on floors named “Root Canal,” “Middle Seat,” and “The Talk,” where other passengers reluctantly step off. The elevator reaches “Car Shopping” and the doors open to a car lot with blaring music and inflatable “air dancers.” After realizing the couple used Shopper Assurance, Bateman cranks the elevator upwards and they are greeted by their brand-new Hyundai Palisade.

“We understand that shopping for a new car is typically something people don’t look forward to,” said Dean Evans, chief marketing officer, Hyundai Motor America. “However, our dealers are using Shopper Assurance as a north star in helping evolve and improve the retail experience. This year’s Super Bowl spot communicates the program in a fun, lighthearted way that viewers will relate to.”

Hyundai’s Super Bowl ad was developed by its agency of record, INNOCEAN USA, and is directed by Jim Jenkins, the well-known commercial director from O Positive who has worked on past successful Hyundai Super Bowl ads, including “Team” in 2013.

“For us, this commercial is a return to our comedic roots,” said Barney Goldberg, executive creative director, INNOCEAN USA. “We want it to be more than just laughs, though. We really aim for consumers to see themselves in our spot.”

For information on all of Hyundai’s Super Bowl marketing activities, including its pregame ads and experiential marketing in Atlanta, visit its Super Bowl media kit.

Hyundai Shopper Assurance
Shopper Assurance consists of four elements that make the process of purchasing a car easier, faster and worry-free. Since the start of its national availability in February 2018, 632 of Hyundai’s dealers now offer the voluntary program, representing more than 77 percent of Hyundai’s sales volume. Customers who have purchased a Hyundai vehicle through the program have responded very favorably[1]:

95 percent loved or liked the purchase process
68 percent said it was better than their previous experience
71 percent agreed it made them feel more positive about the Hyundai brand
68 percent said it made them feel more positive about the Hyundai dealer

Shopper Assurance’s four features include:

Transparent Pricing: Participating dealers post the market pricing (MSRP minus incentives and any dealer-offered discounts) on their websites, so customers know exactly what the market price is for the vehicle. This can reduce the time it takes to negotiate a price and eliminate the frustration of widely advertised incentives not being displayed on dealer websites.
Flexible Test Drive: Customers are given the option to conduct a test drive for any new vehicle on their own terms through Hyundai Drive, a platform that allows the test drive to be scheduled by contacting the dealer through its website, by phone or by using a custom-built app (in available markets). The selected test-drive vehicle can be delivered to a location of the customer’s choosing, such as their home, their office or a coffee shop.
Streamlined Purchase: Allows car buyers to complete most of the paperwork online prior to visiting the dealership for a vehicle in the dealer’s inventory, reducing the total transaction time. This includes applying for financing, obtaining credit approvals, calculating payment estimates and valuing trade-ins.
Three-Day Worry-Free Exchange: Customers who are not satisfied with their purchase is given a three-day period to return the car in exchange for another new Hyundai vehicle, contingent upon a dealer inspection and the vehicle having fewer than 300 miles since the purchase/lease date. This turns potential second thoughts into peace of mind. Full conditions and terms of the exchange policy can be found at hyundaiusa.com/shopperassurance.

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