“We don’t yet know how much traffic has been generated through showrooms, but it’s reassuring to see stats such as the 43 percent increase in Facebook fans,” Hyundai Europe marketing head Mark Hall told Automotive News Europe.
The company increased its fans in Europe to about 286,000 from 200,000 before the start of the month-long competition to determine Europe’s top soccer team.
Total viewing figures for this year’s tournament have not been released, but Hall cited peak audiences of 20 million in Germany, 22 million in Italy, 18 million in Spain and 20 million in the UK.
“Euro 2008 had television figures of 6.6 billion. We think 2012 will beat that,” he said.
Getting people familiar with the brand is crucial for Hyundai, which Hall says has a brand awareness that is “less than half than Toyota’s.”
Chosen for it wide-ranging popularity across the region, Euro 2012 was a good brand fit, Hall said. “We need to get more consumers perceiving us as an aspirational brand, one that’s passionate and dynamic. Football is the perfect vehicle for us,” he said.
The aim is to increase Hyundai’s marketing budget in the two years between the Euro championship and the World Cup, which Hyundai also sponsors.
Hyundai Europe currently accounts for about 4 percent of the total automotive advertising spend in the region.
“The received wisdom is that you should be investing in ads at roughly 1.6 to 1.7 times your market share,” Hall said. “We don’t always achieve that, we’re closer to 1.4. We need to continue to invest.”
Hyundai wouldn’t reveal its advertising budget, but said the total automotive advertising European spend in 2011 was 5.52 billion euros. Given a market share of 3 percent for Hyundai, that would mean it spent roughly 230 million euros in advertising last year.
Hall said the company’s advertising focus for the next two years will be back on the models. “Euro 2012 was primarily about raising awareness of the brand,” he said. “Now we have to capitalize by investing in model communication.”