Tech Too Ahead of Its Time, Part 2 – What A Deceptive Web We Believe

By Mat Dirjish

Two weeks ago, right after Super Bowl Sunday, I gave my viewpoint on the parking technology in Hyundai’s 2020 Sonata (Autonomous Vehicle Too Ahead Of Its Time). To recap, the advertisement for this unique and innovative vehicle, appearing in a prime spot during the game, featured three celebrities acting as motorists from, judging by faux accents, the Boston area. The main feature of this vehicle is an autonomous method of parking in tight spots that may not be not be achievable by the driver, mainly because the driver and passengers will not be able to open the doors to exit the vehicle.

Big Wins for Hyundai’s Big Game Spot, “Smaht Pahk”

All the driver has to do is line the car up in front of the target spot, exit the vehicle, and press a button on the car’s key fob. The Sonata then carefully parks itself.

As mentioned in the original article, this is a great idea IF the vehicles parked on either side of the Sonata have the same technology so their owners can retrieve their vehicles from the tight spots the Sonata made even tighter. Not to miss the big picture, yes, the Hyundai technology is stellar if one has a cramped home garage or if one needs to park in space-limited spots between non-moving structures or objects.

Today, someone told me I may have put my foot in my mouth by writing this because, according to Hyundai, “Hyundai’s Boston-themed, star-studded spot, “Smaht Pahk,” was one of the most successful commercials during the Big Game, ranking second overall on USA TODAY’s Ad Meter.” Also, “the spot scored 738 on Ace Metrix and was the highest performing commercial overall in the highly-regarded third-party ranking that evaluates advertising effectiveness.”

And stats and praise for the ad continue:

  • 42 million views on YouTube, making Hyundai’s ad one of the most watched Big Game commercials on the platform.
  • A combined of 55.2 million views across YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Nearly 250K visits to the Sonata landing page at HyundaiUSA.com
  • Web tracking revealed that Hyundai traffic on Edmunds.com had a 6,982%.
  • On Cars.com Hyundai received a 961% surge in traffic.

Further recognitions from standard news authorities include:

  • Forbes listed “Smaht Pahk” as one of “The Very Best Ads Of The Super Bowl”
  • Ad Age listed “Smaht Pahk” in the “Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials by Digital Share of Voice”
  • AdWeek listed “Smaht Pahk” as one of the “10 Best Super Bowl Commercials of 2020”
  • Associated Press ranked Hyundai as a top ad
  • Yahoo! Sports gave “Smaht Pahk” a Grade: A

Okay, there is no question that the ad was very popular. Hyundai’s website traffic soared as well as other sites related to automobiles as a result of the ad’s popularity. Kudos to the advertisement’s creator(s).

About the person(s) who said “I put my foot in my mouth” via the article of February 3, 2020, I believe I spoke about the parking technology being far too ahead of it’s time and not the quality and/or cleverness of the ad. As far as I’m concerned, the only things I’m interested in are the viability of a particular technology and how well it sells in the market.

One of the most interesting aspects of current day marketing has to do with web traffic. Managers and marketers value web stats almost as much as Moses valued the Ten Commandments. For them, web traffic is the marker for everything. This is unfortunate, particularly when it comes to actually selling something.

For example, bean counters jump up and down in a victory dance when their ad or article gets a billion hits on the web, even if sales are low or nil. However, if web traffic dips down by paltry amount, they raise much rumpus, even if sales go up.

At any rate, be that as it may, it’s all a conundrum. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go put my foot in someone’s……

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