Hyundai Helped by Cable Ads

Oct 25, 2004  •  Post A Comment

By Sharon Edry

Special to TelevisionWeek

Advertising on cable networks has paid off big time for Hyundai dealerships in Las Vegas. The automaker can now boast it has the No. 1-selling car in the city with 32 percent of the market, said Mike Fuhs, a former district manager for Hyundai.

Before using Cox Communications as a primary ad medium, sales were fairly flat, Mr. Fuhs said, with two dealerships each selling about 1,500 cars per year. Two and a half years later, he said, three dealerships together are selling close to 10,000 cars.

As a district manager, Mr. Fuhs coordinated media buys for all the area’s dealerships through the Hyundai Dealers Advertising Association. Half the group’s budget goes to cable buys, and Mr. Fuhs said that has been a successful strategy. “We’ve gotten more bang for the buck on cable, and our positioning is better than on broadcast,” he said. “In Vegas, Cox’s reach is better than broadcast. And all the rooms in the casinos have cable, fed in by Cox.”

The Hyundai dealers are open to programming suggestions and other ideas, said Joe Ayson, national sales manager for Cox Communications in Las Vegas. “It’s a real partnership, and they are very willing to look at everything from a live sports event to a documentary to a news product. If it has eyeballs and a qualified audience, they want to learn about it. And with a successful two-year track record now, it seems to be working.”

Other car companies are following Hyundai’s lead. “Car manufacturers didn’t used to do much on cable around here until we began airing ads,” Mr. Fuhs said. “Now … Volkswagen, Dodge, Nissan-they’re all on cable.”