Aaron Widmar
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Will Hyundai Hank Return with the 2016 Sonata?

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Hyundai Hank Sonata Sunbathing

It’s been over a month since Hyundai Hank’s latest adventure was shared on #HyundaiHank Vine and Twitter, and we’re wondering when we’ll see the little guy again.

The endearing brown-haired action figure received eight “mini” adventures which have spread throughout social media. Hank was created by Hyundai Motors America and its ad agency and social team, INNOCEAN USA, to promote the 2015 Hyundai Sonata (#NewSonata) in a quirky and memorable way.

If you haven’t met Hyundai Hank before, allow us to introduce him.

Related: Newest Sonata helps you identify songs

The Life and Times of Hyundai Hank

Hyundai Hank Sonata Superhero
INNOCEAN has produced a lot of successful ad campaigns which have gone viral, including last year’s Twitter-topping #BecauseFutbol series. Its recent social media endeavor was something aimed at a “younger, quirkier audience” to show Hyundai’s personable, jokey side.

“There’s something inherently fun about seeing a small-scale action figure interacting with an object much larger than it. Stop-motion animation also has such a charming, playful vibe that no other technique can replicate,” said Greg Braun, executive creative director of INNOCEAN.

Hyundai Hank isn’t just some Ken doll knock-off, though. His creators patterned him after Hyundai America’s director of marketing communications, David Matathia. “We wanted someone generic yet someone that everyone could relate to, and before I knew it, I was an action figure,” he admitted in an interview.

The mini mensch uses his six-second stop motion animation misadventures to show the features of the 2015 Sonata, such as  xenon headlights, Rear Backup Assist, and panoramic sunroof. It’s like what Honda did with 80s toys, but to a much lesser degree. Putty, wooden dowels, and thread are used to pose and support Hank in each of his eight videos.

Back to our original question. Will we be seeing Hyundai Hank return this summer when the latest Sonata is released?

According to Matathia, “Hank is a bit of a tour guide, and the goal is to use him beyond this campaign. We want to try to use him in future efforts, depending on how the engagement levels go.” So, it depends on how successful the videos were. Collectively, the eight videos have been looped almost 80,000 times on Vine, ranging from 2,500 to 15,000 views each. While not exactly a “viral pandemic,” that’s still relatively successful. The videos are also inexpensive to make, so all Hank needs are some new ideas–and the recently-released Plug-in Hybrid Sonata will offer plenty. 

While we wait to see if Hyundai Hank will return to the little screen on our mobile devices, we can relive some of his most memorable antics.

Related: 2015 Sonata’s North American Car of the Year nomination

News Sources: DigDay and Mobile Marketer

Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.