Hyundai has a new and extremely successful spokesman. He is well-known, he can speak about cars with more authority than a football player. Best of all: He works pro bono. It is Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn. With a low-cost video, Winterkorn catapulted Hyundai’s image to formerly unknown heights.
The German magazine Wirtschaftswoche reports that the image of Hyundai took a leap a few days after Martin Winterkorn walked over to the Hyundai stand at the Frankfurt motor show and praised the non-rattling steering column.The candid camera video went viral on Youtube. Says Wirtschaftswoche:
“In the days after the show, the image of Hyundai improved considerably. In the beginning of September, its brandindex score was at -25. A few days later, it climbed to -14, at least for a while. The brand still remains a bit weakly positioned, however, it is interesting that the brand score improved especially in the eyes of internet-savvy social media users.”
The measurements are by YouGov.com and refer to the German market only. We have not seen the study. Still, Winterkorn’s handlers haven’t learned. You’d think they are watching his back for people with cameras. No, they don’t. At the Tokyo Motor Show, I (video wall, blue shirt next to potted plant, face covered by camera) sat right behind Winterkorn, with recording devices at the ready. I overheard nothing of interest .
There were no cars of the competition to talk about – it was at Volkswagen’s own show.