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Hyundai’s latest campaign is a masterclass in climate change messaging

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Hyundai’s latest campaign is a masterclass in climate change messaging


Brands spruiking climate change calls-to-action and sustainability messages are not a new phenomenon. However, Hyundai’s latest global campaign with Jung von Matt NECKAR offers a startling and surprising deviation from the well-worn path.

The campaign titled ‘The Last Safety Feature’ showcases photographs of cars impacted by the effects of climate change. The striking images include cars submerged in flood waters, sunk in sand storms, overturned in blizzards, burnt out by wildfires and destroyed by landslides. The message is felt instantaneously: all the safety features in the world can’t save us from the devastating effects of climate change. Anyone who experienced the recent record-breaking autumn heatwave in south-east Australia will know climate change is real and upon us. This campaign is a timely reminder that despite the many technological advancements that we have, the issue of most importance is protecting the environment. 

To make the point hit even harder, these photographs are not the result of AI or Photoshop. They are real life images sourced from news reports and environmental journals. The accompanying release explains that the creative process involved the team at Jung von Matt searching through more than 25,000 images in order to create the campaign.


Not only is the campaign attention-grabbing and startling, but it sets the Hyundai brand apart from its competitors by positioning itself as a company willing to take a stand within the automotive industry. An industry that has historically been resistant to change and at times even hostile towards climate goals. Jung von Matt NECKAR managing director, Andreas Brunsch, commended Hyundai’s straightforward tone in the campaign. “They are candidly acknowledging that while their innovations and those of the autonomous industry are impressive, they pale in comparison to the larger issue of climate change,” he said.

Hyundai races towards carbon neutrality 

At the core of the latest campaign is Hyundai’s announcement of its intention to become carbon neutral by 2045. On each of the images the line “that’s why we are going carbon neutral” appears. To make this happen, the release states that the company is “conducting numerous business initiatives aimed at helping to achieve this goal”. The campaign will feature billboards, print ads, and social media content to target audiences across numerous mediums. It will run globally in markets including Germany, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Canada, and India. 


The campaign’s effectiveness is in its ability to position the brand as a car company unlike other car companies. In other words: “I’m not like a regular car company, I’m a cool car company!” This is a clever brand play in its own right, but particularly if Hyundai is looking to align itself with Millennials and Gen Z consumers. The two younger generations are known to be more receptive to climate change and sustainability initiatives. 

Hyundai joins the ranks of other car companies trying to reduce climate change contributions and meet sustainability goals. In an article by Sustainability Magazine, the top 10 automotive sustainability strategies and the major initiatives of the big car companies are ranked. Initiatives included carbon neutrality, a focus on electric vehicles and an emphasis on recycling and reducing waste. These steps forward will not only change the way we drive but hopefully help reduce the devastating effects of climate change.

Images attributed to Hyundai.


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January Jones

January Jones is a freelance writer.

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