Hyundai Canada gets smart about going green

The carco talks about its new 'Live Smart' mantra and how it contributed to a campaign so green it would make Kermit the Frog jealous.

Hyundai Canada is getting smart to show that it’s actually easy being green.

‘Live Smart,’ the carco’s new business philosophy, is a mantra it recently developed in the belief that efficiency results in innovation. In that spirit, it enlisted Toronto-based Innocean Worldwide Canada to shoot three eco-efficient commercials promoting its Sonata Turbo, Tucson and Sonata Hybrid models, the efficiencies of those vehicles providing the inspiration behind the campaign.

‘Hyundai’s marching mantra is ‘finding efficiency,’ which motivates us to find a smarter way of doing business,’ says Chad Heard, PR manager, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. ‘We thought about the efficiency of our cars and our commitment to become the industry leader in fuel economy, we thought about our own push to become more socially responsible in the projects we undertake, so, we took this philosophy from the boardroom to television sets across Canada.’

The spots were produced to the tune of a 96% drop in carbon dioxide emissions and a 97% reduction in garbage comparatively to a conventional shoot.

To help accomplish this, they tapped LEED-accredited professional sustainability consultant Lauren Gropper, who has experience working on buildings across the continent, advising on environmental planning and design. Gropper used her environmental acumen to organize the whole affair, finding suitable resources and collaborating with the crew on set design, construction, removal and disposal.

All three commercials were shot in a Toronto parking lot using wind and solar energy to power generators, LED and low-power lighting, and a set design that mimicked moving landscapes and vehicles via bicycle generators and hand cranks, making sure that not one of the cars had to be started. Set materials were all donated or recycled. Any additional power needs were supplied by clean diesel generators that were size-optimized to account for the anticipated energy requirements, and with the help of exhaust scrubbers, the generators put out 30 to 40% fewer emissions.

The consumption of resources was stringently regulated, with all waste monitored, sorted and measured. Locally sourced food was provided for the crew, who also tracked their transport back and forth from the set, taking advantage of car pooling, public transit, bicycles and the old-fashioned heel-toe method whenever possible. Straight-up bans were implemented to meet other ecological goals, like requiring the crew to use reusable water bottles as opposed to the plastic option.

The overall result was the production of only 0.35 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide and 45 kilograms of garbage, as opposed to a traditional shoot, which would have produced around 8.83 metric tonnes of CO2 and 1,524 kilos of garbage, but Hyundai didn’t stop there. The commercials, and a ‘making of’ vid, are all housed on the carco’s YouTube page and for every 600 visitors Hyundai will buy a metric ton of carbon offsets.

Hyundai plans on making its ‘Live Smart’ philosophy live in the rest of its marketing efforts going forward.

‘We’re very proud of this philosophy,’ says Heard. ‘It’s based on doing things more efficiently, and for us, efficiency is the key to innovation. We continually challenge ourselves to find a smarter way to do business. This shoot is the latest example of that challenge.’

The spots, which began airing nationally in September, will run until the end of November. Initiative handled media planning with ZenithOptimedia taking care of the buying, and Ketchum Public Relations managed PR.