"The best day of my life!"
That's how Porsha, a single mom from Georgia, exuberantly describes her experience of taking a road trip to Florida, courtesy of Hyundai, where she dips her feet in the ocean for the very first time.
She appears in the premiere episode of "The Un-Adventurers," a long-form content series from the automaker, which broke Wednesday night on the Tastemade video network.
According to the automaker, some 35 million Americans have never left the state where they were born, and a fair percentage of those never even venture outside their hometowns. Developed by Innocean and Canvas Worldwide, "The Un-Adventurers" treats such individuals to journeys of discovery in Hyundai SUVs, driven by host Selema "Sal" Masekela.
A trailer on the Tastemade site previews Porsha's road trip and introduces Jay, an aspiring standup comedian, who stars in the second installment, set to drop next week.
And here's the full first episode:
After months of self-isolation, many Americans crave new horizons, so the show could find an empathetic, highly engaged audience.
"We're all a little bit of an 'Un-Adventurer' right now," Innocean executive creative director Barney Goldberg tells Muse. "We hope these episodes remind everyone of the joy and importance of travel—once it's safe to do so." The team shot the first two installments pre-pandemic and will film additional chapters when safety conditions permit.
Hyunadi and Innocean chose to produce 22-minute episodes because "it felt like we needed the time to tell these stories," Goldberg says. "It didn't feel like it would work in a traditional 30- or a 60-second spot."
Given the unusual premise, "casting was a completely different process than a typical commercial production," recalls Innocean associate creative director Joe Reynoso. "We were searching for people who, for one reason or another, had never left their hometown or the state they were born in—not even once. We ended up doing 16 weeks of casting to find the right stories to tell. We also felt it was important to represent a broad spectrum of people from different backgrounds, so we worked really hard to find stories from different parts of the country."
To devise each two-day itinerary, the team delved into why each subject shunned travel, "then built the trips around them" to make the excursions as emotionally resonant as possible, Reynoso says.
From a brand perspective, "we hope that people will look at Hyundai as more than just a vehicle that gets them from A to B, but as a partner that gets them to where they want to go," he says.
Hyundai tapped Tastemade owing to the platform's expertise in travel and food programming. The pair partnered a few years back to produce "The Grill Iron," which focused on college-football tailgating traditions. (More recently, Castello Cheese engaged Tastemade for its "Feed Your Senses" content play.)