Hyundai is tying its new all-electric Ioniq 5 vehicle and the latest version of the Tuscon SUV to “Spider-Man: No Way Home” as part of its pact with Sony Pictures Entertainment, according to a news release.
Beyond a product placement scheme in the Marvel blockbuster, which hits theaters December 17, the automaker developed a long-form commercial with “No Way Home” director Jon Watts. Titled “Only Way Home,” the global spot features star Tom Holland as Spider-Man emerges from hiding in a remote location but has no skyscrapers to use for the web-swinging home. Instead, his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) picks him up in an Ioniq 5 and the two take a road trip back to New York City sharing jokes and teasing what’s to come in the film.
Hyundai will air a 30-second cut of the creative on TV in the U.S., Europe, China, Russia, and other markets through January 2022. A separate 30-second ad depicts key scenes from “No Way Home” with Holland and Tucson. The brand is running a social media promotion offering special-edition movie posters with the Ioniq 5 and customized digital wallpapers, as well as posting behind-the-scenes videos and other content online to extend the reach of the campaign with Marvel fans.
Hyundai is harnessing the massive popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to drive interest in the latest versions of the Ioniq and Tuscon models. The blockbuster campaign signals that the automaker is throwing a larger spotlight on its electric vehicle (EV) offerings, a common theme as the car category makes a broader shift toward more sustainable products and contends with fierce competition from disruptors like Tesla.
The effort is part of a deal Hyundai struck with Sony Pictures in May 2020 that showcases its “human-centered mobility vision,” an initiative that encompasses EVs, per the release. Future integrations are planned for releases like “Uncharted,” a video game adaptation due out February 2022 that also stars Holland and a sequel to “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” expected to hit theaters in October next year.
Disney operates Marvel Studios but has a licensing agreement with Sony Pictures to be able to use Spider-Man characters, which the latter still owns the film rights to. Hyundai additionally has a pact with Disney that recently produced a co-branded campaign that draws in characters from Disney+ programs like “Loki,” “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” and “WandaVision” to market the 2022 Tucson.
The “Only Way Home” ads similarly seek to fit into the broader narrative around “No Way Home,” the third entry in the franchise that picks up after Spider-Man’s real identity, Peter Parker, is revealed by spiteful media figure J. Jonah Jameson, forcing the superhero to reckon with the tensions between his public and private life. Creative plays on the idea of Spider-Man hiding out in a remote rural location amid the fallout, a decision that cuts off his signature method of movement. The spot concludes with Spider-Man kicking off a road trip home by typing in the address for “177 A Bleecker” in New York City, the address for the hideout of Dr. Strange, another MCU character that plays a role in the movie.
Other automotive companies have tried to capture the buzz around the MCU by linking their partnerships to the franchise’s behemoth-connected storytelling concept. For the release of “Eternals” earlier this year, Lexus ran ads showing the character Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) as he desperately searches for a parking spot during an intense city battle.
Positioning vehicles like the Ionic 5 closer to pop culture could help Hyundai drum up interest for EVs among young consumers who care about the environment. The brand recently turned to Roblox, a gaming platform popular with Gen Z and Gen Alpha, to develop a virtual theme park based on its mobility line-up, including the Ioniq 5. It was the first Roblox activation of its kind from a global automaker.