Hyundai reminds us that boring doesn’t sell and that safe is still very risky

Ad Age is reporting that Hyundai is parting ways with its agency.

A major reason? The disappointing launch of their high-end Genesis, backed by an $80 million campaign which included two Superbowl spots.

Hoping to move about 2,000 models a month, the automaker has sold a total of a little more than 1,800 since the launch.

I could end this post with an I told you so

But the lesson deserves another mention. Simply, $80 million isn’t nearly enough to convince us to think of a Hyundai when spending $35k on a car–especially this car. It’s a product that from the beginning was boring with a boring mission (cheaper than BMW and Benz) and no wonderful copy or fancy commercials can save a story that is fundamentally boring.

The Genesis looks similar to its perceived competitors. It’s not remarkably cheap. They didn’t dump a gigantic motor in it or a hire a team of engineers to make it handle remarkably better than any other car.

Instead, they went for a car that blended in, and in that sense they’ve succeeded marvelously.

The problem for Hyundai is that there’s no room for Genesis-like products in our hyper-saturated markets. So rather than talking about Hyundai’s boring sedan, the auto industry is buzzing about Chevy’s hybrid (which is two years away!).

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