By on April 25, 2012

Here’s a quick example of Gen Y marketing done right, but this isn’t so much to do with the product.

It’s an ad for the Hyundai Veloster. Short, effective, just enough of a nod and a wink to the viewer without being risqué. Unlike most male-focused ads, it doesn’t hold promises of threesomes with cute, nubile girls, but if your game is tight enough to get two of them to go with you to a night club, the Veloster won’t let you down.

MINI tried this a few years ago with the above ad. Maybe it’s because of shifting cultural norms or some other nonsense that I didn’t pay attention to in Sociology 101, but the ad generated some controversy without a lot of impact. In any case, it seems too blatant, like a very low-cut top. The Veloster ad, on the other hand, is like that tight dress worn by the girl getting out the back seat. You don’t see too much, but you know what’s being implied.


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65 Comments on “Commercial Break: A Quick Example Of A Good “Gen Y” Ad...”

  • avatar

    First, you’ll need to prove to me that you can get ONE girl driving a Veloster. Then we’ll consider the rest of the ad.

    • 0 avatar

      You do know that girls are attracted to the inverse of whatever car enthusiasts deem cool?

      • 0 avatar

        Girls HATE:

        Manual transmissions – because they prefer your right hand to be free for them (I’ll let you figure that out).

        Excessive speeding or jarring in sports cars – because they can’t apply makeup or doze off.

        These girls nowadays are so wrapped up in their smartphones I doubt many of them know the difference between a Hyundai and a Honda. I guess I should credit Hyundai with being able to make cars like the Soul look “cool” – even if they had to employ the negrofication of Hamsters to do it.

      • 0 avatar

        So true! Back when they came out, a friend of mine was single and desperate, and bought an NSX thinking it would help him with women. A while later he told me “Guys go crazy when I park this thing – the only comment a girl has ever made is ‘Nice Corvette\'”.

      • 0 avatar

        +1 to “employ the negrofication of Hamsters”

        When I think of the Kia Soul though, the last thing I think is cool… almost like saying a Corolla is ‘cool’.

      • 0 avatar

        Explain chicks and Porsches/SLKs/Ferraris I would say those are mostly enthusiast rides.

      • 0 avatar

        28 cars later

        Those cars you named have BRIGHT COLORS. Women are attracted to BRIGHT COLORS.

        Very few of them could tell you the difference between a base model and an AMG/ ALPINA/ETC.

        A Lamborghini however is a different story. Not only is it brightly colored, it just looks cool.

    • 0 avatar

      If the car gets the girl, you’re definitely not on the prowl for quality.

    • 0 avatar

      If you need a car to “pull” you need to tighten up your game. I had my fair share when I had my first car in college. A 1978, yellowish-orange, Ford Thunderbird.

      When I finally got the pu**y magnet that was the 1990 V.W. Fox, I was, for the lack of a better word, swimming in it.

      I really hope what you said was with “tongue firmly imbedded in cheek”.

  • avatar

    Simple but to the point. ;)

  • avatar

    That commercial (and the Mini) appeals to a number of demographics/generations. Hell, my uncle (mid 60’s, drives a Tahoe and a 370 vert) would love it.

    And I agree, it’s much more subtle than the Mini ad. Well done.

  • avatar

    I don’t get the ‘gen y’ thing (just as I didn’t get the previous ‘gen-types’ either). When exactly did this branding of people as ‘gen’ this and ‘gen’ that start anyway? In all likelihood it’s some social or even sociological spin-off from advertising or something, like ‘the Pepsi generation’ perhaps.

    I find all this strained generational branding a bit much. It may help define one’s self-image I suppose, but it sounds an awful lot like pop-sociology or pop-psychology to me… (cynical much?)

    • 0 avatar

      Different age groups grew up under dramatically different social/cultural situations, which means what they think is cool, lame, appropriate, desirable or otherwise is completely different.

      As someone raised amongst minivans and SUVs, I think wagons are awesome. My dad can’t understand that at all. I have a feeling my kids will think minivans or maybe even crossovers are retro-cool when they start driving ~15 years from now.

      It remains true that humans’ basic wants and needs, or most middle-class consumers’ wants and needs aren’t all that different. The core value proposition around a vehicle doesn’t change no matter how old you are (and this is usually Derek’s point).

      However, most car purchases are only semi-rational, and the pseudo-logic that drives people to one car over another is based heavily on what their generation considers cool.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree that different age groups may grow up under different social/cultural situations that may be image-defining for those groups. But I find it strange that the boundary conditions dividing all these so-called ‘gen’ brands tend to be conveniently marked by decades on a calendar rather than any clearly observable empirical conditions that might be said to constitute these social/cultural divides.

        Do these ‘gen’ divisions cover all the people of the period (e.g. decade) in question, including those from widely differing social, economic, cultural, regional, and other backgrounds? If so, then they are likely a function of some combination or market forces and the newly developing forms of information technology that seem to define out age(homogenization through social media and all that). I think this is very likely the case.

        The environmental conditions in which most of us live nowadays (at least in the West) are almost entirely technological in nature. What’s unique about the current age is the rise to prominence of information technologies as a dominant force shaping social/cultural life. It strikes me as no accident that the so-called ‘gen’ categories seem to have coincided with the rise to prominence of information technologies. We live in the ‘age of information,’ and the changing nature of information-based systems is likely a strong determinant in defining the current social-cultural environment. Market forces have become deeply integrated into these informational systems, and also play a vital role in shaping people’s image of themselves and others. This is why I think the current tendency to divide groups along these newly devised (and relatively brief, historically speaking) ‘gen’ lines is likely very much a market driven and market constructed phenomena. People’s willingness to define themselves and others according to these market conditions and information technologies likely also plays a major role in this process (as a kind of self-constructing, self-reinforcing social-technological-market interaction).

        Whatever the source and basis of these divisions, I find the processes of their construction both very odd and very interesting. It likely says a lot about our current techno-social culture…

      • 0 avatar

        The ‘gen’ designations do not go by decade, but are based more on population waves based on signigicant societal events, like wars. There typically is not a definitive boundary for each (the start of the boomers may be the rare exception).

        IMO, beyond the most general of classifications, using such designations is a fool’s game. For example, I am actually amazed at how Derek’s posts about the subject so poorly relate to every 20-something I know. ‘Psychics’ do a better job with random, yet universal, descriptions of people’s qualities & behaviors.

      • 0 avatar

        Derek: Who elaborate?

        You guys need more levels of nesting in your comments…

    • 0 avatar

      The proof is in the results – and their AIN’T any.

      The entire “generational” marketing meme that has been employed by BS specialists is wrong.

      What is called generational marketing is actually people going through lifestyle changes. When you are a young driver, your vehicle is one kind. When you marry and have kids, your vehicle needs change. When you get more income, your vehicle needs change. When you find yourself toting grandparents along with your college age kids, your vehicle needs change. When you are seeing the kids off to college, your vehicle needs change. When you are an empty nester….when you are a senior….when you are about ready for the grave… – then you get carted off in a hearse.

      What the moronic sociologists see instead is “generation” needing this, and another generation needing this, and another generation needing this….

      BALONEY! These people are idiots!

      Who the F cares if a young family’s dad was in Vietnam, Kuwait, WWII, Korea, or Grenada? A young family has the SAME needs regarding family vehicles! The fact that there is a sixty year time period impacting the vehicle design process is confusing these supposedly intelligent people seeing generational traits. You show up with a new street legal 1949 Ford Country Squire, you will have young families interested because of what the vehicle OFFERS, not because they have some kind of generational issue.

      First, stop listening to the idiots making these generational claims. They get paid to shovel out the BS. This stupidity is how they justify their overpaid salaries. There is an entire factory of stupid nonsense being generated by these fools, and they are only fooling themselves and those who actually listen to them.

      Big picture people – human beings have not radically evolved over the past century enough to overcome BASIC HUMAN NEEDS. We born, we breed, we die. That hasn’t changed. What comes between those stages is not as important as those three stages. When we look through history, we see lots of stupid memes like “generational marketing”, blah, blah, blah. And, as a matter of fact, it is those embarrassing stupid memes that create newer stupid memes – and gives new humans a false belief that they are smarter than the humans preceding them. A century ago, scientists, sociologist, and supposedly enlightened people were teaching students about the evolutionary tree, claiming that black people descended from apes. Before that, they were claiming that phrenology was important. Before that, they were claiming men had only so much sperm, so jerking off was suicide. HONESTLY, our best and brightest pushed these stupid crap ideas in our best and brightest universities. They gave diplomas to people believing these embarrassing memes. The fact that the diplomas carried Ivy League names upon them, or the fact that the students paid everything to get those diplomas, doesn’t make the BS memes any more true. Look around and see the new BS being shoveled out of our best and brightest universities today. A whole lotta garbage. A century from now, our descendants are going to be laughing their heads off recalling the crap we are believing today. Like generational marketing.

      Right now, these folks are claiming that you can market by defining specific generational traits. They might as well as do it by zodiac signs.

      Because based on the results – the actual results – generational marketing is a HOAX.

      This ad could have had a young couple with a small child getting out of the rear door – with the exact same wording.

      “You know why.”

      • 0 avatar

        Wow, that was quite the rant with ignoring so many important aspects of the difference between needs and wants and how that works on a micro level for different age groups.

  • avatar

    Hang on, so what Hyundai are saying is that with a Veloster I could only have a threesome, not a foursome with the normal number of doors? Damn.

  • avatar

    Yeah, dude! Awesome ad, because, you know, whatever!

  • avatar

    “Unlike most male-focused ads, it doesn’t hold promises of threesomes with cute, nubile girls”

    What ad were you watching?

  • avatar

    It seems that girls are attracted to cars that express their inner personality. Unreliable girls seem to be attracted to high dollar (read: unreliable) cars, while nice dependable girls seem to be attracted to guys in reliable simple cars.

  • avatar

    Nothing is more unintentionally hilarious than reading car enthusiasts’ comments about cars’ abilities to get women.

  • avatar

    Apparently, Gen-Ys park anywhere they damn well please.

  • avatar

    Millionaire lifestyle, implied menage a trois, and a Hyundai Veloster. That’s a good Gen Y ad?

    The ad shows how far the bar has been lowered. The ad is visually appealing and understated, not offensive or try hard, which makes it a smash hit for a consumer base who’ve been subjected to clumsy overt sexuality and awful Scion commercials.

    You want to know why it’s so tame? Not to convince Gen Y to buy a Veloster, Gen Y already knows it’s about the only visually interesting affordable performance compact on the market. The commercial is supposed to make older gens think that Gen Y are responsibly hip/risque, and Gen Y like the Veloster. If older buyers want to maintain their youthfulness, they should let Jeff Bridges pursuade them to get the “it” car.

    Gen Y don’t have money or jobs. No one advertises to us. They sell our youth and exuberance to people with money.

    • 0 avatar

      At least time is on your side. Take it from me, Gen X is just like Gen Y, only without the youth. Yes, your future will probably suck so enjoy your youth while you can. Don’t worry, a car with three doors won’t make your life better anyway—but you probably already know that.

    • 0 avatar

      Some people in Gen Y do have money and jobs, but no exuberance due to working 50 hours a week. Also, some people in Gen Y are more interested in the Genesis sedan than the Veloster.

  • avatar

    Well it didn’t matter what kind of car I drove, the girls basically weren’t that attracted by my looks. I really cannot blame them. OTOH after a sixpack I looked good to all of them. If I had a sixpack with them, so did they.

    It really didn’t have much to do with cars except for the guy in 1966 who was driving around with a 66 Ford Wagon. He may as well have tattooed what he wanted on his forehead. Well, that really wasn’t about cars either. More like a portable bed.

    Anyway, married for years and too old to be impressed by eyecandy.

  • avatar

    While I wouldn’t buy car to attract women, get them drunk enough and they’ll admit why they went for you in the 1st place. It’s rarely what you want to hear and yes, my cars have scored me plenty. Most were the kind you marry, actually, but I buy what attracts me, exclusively. It’s not the car necessarily, but spending power. Sure they may be new sports cars and 4X4s, but that’s besides the point. Cave women also had to be shown ability to drag lots of food and shiny rocks back to the cave to get in the mood. What’s changed?

    • 0 avatar

      I learned long ago that I buy a car for me and no one else, anybody with some credit can flash a used Vette/Porsche/[insert car here] doesn’t mean you have any game beyond you checkbook. The most successful players I’ve known are smooth plain and simple. Maybe some think a car is an icebreakers but I don’t see it… having the confidence to know you seduced her on your own terms is more of a rush than a Ferrari in my driveway.

  • avatar

    Only reason I even respect Jee Bridges is because he played “C.L.U.”

  • avatar

    The only thing that makes this a Gen-Y commercial is that it features young people, otherwise it’s doing the classic thing about good advertising, selling a benefit and not the product. That and it seems well calculated to not repulse women the way that sporty car ads usually do.

  • avatar

    Derek, your postings are proving something that’s become increasingly obvious as I interview college juniors and seniors for engineering internships…

    Gen Y will somehow be even more self-absorbed than the Baby Boomers.

    • 0 avatar

      As a Gen Y engineer two years out of college, I’d love to hear more about this.

      • 0 avatar

        I read an article about how a large percentage of recent graduates won’t accept a job offer if they can’t access facebook at work.

        It was on USAToday, but I can’t find a link.

    • 0 avatar

      Because it worked so well for the boomers… fellow Gen Y-ers get your heads out of your butt and realize the worlds headed down the tubes, its up to us to correct the trend.

    • 0 avatar

      Who do you think our parents were…?

      • 0 avatar

        The true boomer generation (’45 – ’55) that used up all of the cheap oil, could drive real muscle cars at teenager prices, could afford college without 30K-60K of debt, could still buy the classic American home for 10-20K, and could still get good jobs with pensions and benefits we’ll only dream of… sure *alot* has improved in the past forty years but much more has gotten worse. I can’t eat an Ipad.

        Despite the real Soviet threat of nuclear war, my parents grew up in a world where America was a true superpower. Now we’re fast on the track to a second or even third world nation. I think its what 17 TRILLION in nation debt now with what to really show for it. Since 1980 hourly wages have fallen every year, housing prices in real wages have skyrocketed, food and fuel are starkly more expensive, and in car terms, you pay more for less and still many cannot afford to buy them, so they lease. On top of that, the big elephant in the room is the now SEVEN billion humans, up a billion from ten years ago, who all need food, water, medicine and oil. We now live in a multi-polar world vastly different from the world of even 30 years ago, and in the end I doubt the world as a whole can sustain the direction we’re headed. I see it as poor management by our parents, but maybe I’m too cynical. Eventually somebody’s going to have to make the tough decisions and pay the piper, so we’d better knock off the A.D.D. and smarten up otherwise we’ll just accelerate our own demise.

        If you’re really interested in geopoltical issues, I found this man to be fascinating. He basically predicted many of the current situations we find ourselves in around 1994 in the midst of the 90s ‘economic boom’.


      • 0 avatar

        It’s definitely poor management, and short-sightedness as well. Throughout this period you do find some people who were calling for more responsible action and a need to consider the well being of future generations, but their calls and warnings were either ignored or outright rejected as unrealistic, idealistic mumbo jumbo. Those same kinds of people are still being ignored and laughed at today.

        People seem to have a hard time thinking and living beyond the reach of their noses, and unfortunately it’s just as true today as it was back in the ‘boomer’ era. The truly sad thing is that as much as some might call for a different way of thinking and living, many people will only change when the eventual crises are staring them directly in the face, and then its likely already too late…

  • avatar

    Hah! So not true! My oldest granddaughter drives an Elantra and the boys are always coming up to her, checking her out and her car.

    And my oldest grandson drives a Tacoma 2-dr 4X4, and the girls are always flirting with him, even if they have cars of their own.

    So this ad is bogus. It only applies if the girl does not have a car of her own. Otherwise it doesn’t matter what you drive.

    But you can’t blame automakers for trying every which way to sell cars. It remains to be seen if this ad sells Velosters, three doors and all.

  • avatar

    A few things:

    1. My wife is quite a catch, and cares nothing for cars. She met me when I was driving a 9-year-old Pinto and has stuck around for the past 27 years in spite of that.

    2. If girls could sell cars, Mercury would be a top seller today.

    3. The Mini ad is funny; the Veloster ad is boring. But that’s my perspective as a young Boomer.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s funny how they were able to take a cramped back seat in a tiny at best B segment car turn it into a subtle positive with a little skirt. Derek was right its effective… stupid, but effective.

  • avatar

    Ménage à trois, Veloster.


  • avatar

    Simple solution: Marry into a race/ethnicity where the women are programmed to be dedicated and never seek divorce.

    +1 if you have your parents arrange the marriage.

    I’ve been watching Game of Thrones and it’s incredible that humans still have arranged marriages. You could be a total slob or sociopath (like Joffrey) and end up with an incredibly hot girl to abuse.

  • avatar

    I guess men don’t hold open doors for women anymore. It would be practical with the Velostar having two doors on one side.

  • avatar

    Blargh. The worst thing about being a girl who likes cars? Is listening to women and car stereotypes.
    “What color is it? I want car that matches my phone!” *barf*

  • avatar

    I didn’t know the Veloster had that much legroom.

  • avatar

    Personally, I find the Mini add to be more cheeky here….and I’m Gen Y myself (although barely).

    As for buying a car to attract women? Forget it. I drive a bright red Porsche Cayman that looks absolutely stunning in a sea of Camrys and crossovers. Not that I am asking for any, but the only people who ever give it attention? Boys under 10 and older Miata-driving types. Women of any age really don’t give a crap.

  • avatar

    28-cars-later, things were different 50 years ago. Things are immeasurably better. I graduated from high school, started college and got a job in 1964. College was cheap, $75.00 per quarter tuition. Pay was low, $1.25 per hour. Gas was cheap, $0.25 per gallon. I enlisted in the Navy Reserve, mainly to stay out of Viet Nam. When I was on active duty, I bought my first home, $6500 for 900 square feet. Three bedroom, one bath, being young, my wife and I loved that house. As far as pensions, none of my jobs ever included one. I knew people who got pensions, but they tended to be very low. On the order of $10.00 to $30.00 per month. My dad receives a pension from his work, less than $50.00 per month.

    As far as the cars then, todays cars are so much better that you can’t believe it. I personally had a 55 Chevy, a 57 Chevy, a 60 Corvair, a 64 Corvair, a 64 Ford, a 62 Ford Econoline and more foreign cars than I can count. I had a 59 Borgward Isabella sedan, a 59 Mini, a 60 Mini, a late 50’s Morris Minor, a 59 reverse slant rear window Anglia, a Fiat 600 with a VW engine, several Fiat 850’s, both coupe and spider, a Fiat 124 coupe, a Porsche 914. Bought new were Austin 1100, Ford Cortina GT, Austin America, Fiat 128 station wagon, 79 Ford Fairmont wagon, 80 Honda Civic, 83 Chevette, 84 Civic wagon, 87 CRX, 88 Dodge Dakota, 90 Acura Legend, 2005 PT Cruiser, 2006 Odyssey, 2010 Insight.

    Looking back at all the used junk I had, it is a wonder I survived. Minis of that era had doors that were one thickness of sheet metal and weighed around 1200 pounds. You were as safe on a motorcycle.

    The point is, live your life and have fun while you can. I am now retired, living on social security, still with the same wife. This would be a sad tale except we don’t live in the US any more. We moved to a low cost of living country and are still enjoying life. We worked and saved, we did everything we could do to protect our future. We started a business and devoted our lives to it for 27 years. We made a lot of money and invested it in the market, now there is no money. When things went to hell in 2008, we changed our plans, to move out of the US.

    Cars aren’t everything, but they can be a lot of fun while you are going down the highway of life. Even at my advanced age, I still enjoy driving. I don’t drive too fast though. If I want speed, i get my bike out. No car can compare to the thrill of a fast bike. All you young people, enjoy life, you only get one try at it. Don’t get old and say, I wish I had done more.

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