Dean Evans, who managed the feel-good advertising at Subaru from 2011 to 2014 and pushed the automaker to concentrate more strongly on digital marketing, has been hired by Hyundai as its U.S. marketing chief.
Hyundai announced the hiring, ending a nine-month run without a marketing leader. The move comes six weeks after Hyundai wrote a big check to replace General Motors as automotive sponsor of the National Football League. It’s now up to Evans to help hone Hyundai’s message for that big stage.
Dave Zuchowski, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, said the company picked Evans for his broad experience and inspirational leadership.
“Dean has a remarkable background, which will prove invaluable to Hyundai as our company moves forward in the ever-changing auto market,” he said in a statement.
Evans was chief marketing officer at Subaru of America Inc. until spring 2014, when he left to become CEO of software company LotLinx Inc.
His time at Subaru included a TV ad campaign built around the company’s support of charitable causes and one that featured families of dogs traveling in Subarus and pitched the vehicles as “dog approved.” Evans was known as a digital specialist who focused heavily on online advertising, increasing the share of Subaru’s marketing budget spent on digital to 25 percent from 15 percent.
“You drive more demand with digital,” Evans told Automotive News in a 2013 interview, “and you can record that demand.”
Hyundai had been without a marketing chief since November, when the company parted ways with Vice President Steve Shannon. His second-in-command, David Matathia, left Hyundai for a job at an ad agency in Atlanta earlier this month.