B-Reel Goes Full Gen Z in Campaign for the 2021 Hyundai Elantra

Visual surge from Sergi Castellà

In case you hadn't heard, everyone who can stay at home should do so to help fight the spread of coronavirus. Naturally, that includes millennials and Gen Z. Stay home, people!

Once civilization stages a comeback, however, young adults might want to resume partaking of neon-splashed nightlife, throbbing mosh pits, a few rounds of boxing and wee-hours basketball.

Such diversions drive "This Is How You Dare," a visually dynamic ride from agency B-Reel that attempts to distill the Gen Z vibe for the sporty 2021 Hyundai Elantra:

This Is How You Dare | 2021 Elantra | Hyundai

Director Sergi Castellà eschews overt sales messages and stats about gas mileage, favoring a lifestyle pitch. At times, the approach feels kind of shallow, though in a good way, and it's especially appealing in the age of COVID-19.

"We know they hate advertising, and we don't blame them," B-Reel executive creative director Jonathan Graham says of the target audience. With that dynamic in mind, "we took cultural cues from music videos, fashion bloggers, and other types of content that they do like to consume," Graham says. "I don't know if it will appeal to them or not, but I hope it at least says that we are giving them genuine credit, and trying to turn the conversation in their favor."

He adds:  "I hope they will give Hyundai credit for being humble and fearless. It's scary trying to make a connection with a generation that rejects so many of the norms. I think this was an earnest attempt to make a connection on the audience's terms, and that's a good start."

Around the 1:15 mark, when those stylish hipsters emerge from the light and troop across a bridge, they seem like characters in a sci-fi flick, zipping back in time to assure a nervous 2020 that everything's going to be awesome again soon.

These days, it's impossible to view marketing messages out of context. Here, a chill, spirited message takes on added dimension. Another example comes from Epson. The tech company's new campaign with Shaquille O'Neal and his mom would normally just seem sweet, but gains surprising emotional depth against the backdrop of current events.

"Obviously when we embarked on this adventure, the coronavirus was still several weeks from being a story, so we have adapted as we go," Graham says. "First, our empathies went out to our dear, fearless clients in Seoul who had to endure some of the earliest and widest spread alarm. And now, we face a world in which it is unclear what the commercial future will look like."

"This particular work at least has a positive human message," he says. "It's really only a little bit about the car. It was mostly about a new generation who are going to save the world. Well, you're on the clock, gang. We need you now."

The campaign began dropping last week across broadcast, online, social, out-of-home, retail and print channels.

CREDITS

Client: Hyundai Motor Company (Global)
Agency: B-Reel
Executive Creative Director: Jonathan Graham
Brand Director: Magda Tomaszewski
Director of Production: Myke Gerstein
Senior Producer: Sachin Arora 
Senior Creative: Suchi Ahuja
Copywriter: Witt Whitmore
Production Company: Imposter
Director: Sergi Castellà
Director of Photography: Albert Salas
Executive Producer: Avtar Khalsa
Line Producer: Malcolm Wax
Service Company: ArgentinaCine
Editorial: Work Editorial
Editor: Ben Jordan
Assistant Editors: Audrey Weiner, Julian Laing, and Theo Mercado
Producer: Chris Delarenal
Executive Producer: Erica Thompson
VFX: Ambassadors
Producer: Katya Meyer
Senior Flame Artist/VFX Supervisor: Inti Martinez 
Music and Sound Design: Q Department
Color: The Mill
Colorist: Mikey Rossiter
Color Producer: Evan Bauer
Color Assist: Andrew Ceen
Color Coordinator: Lucy Gatanis
Sound Mix: Digital Arts
Mixer: Josh Heilbronner
Senior Producer: Lauren Boyle

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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