In the latest Hyundai advertisement, a woman walks onto her front steps and discovers a portion of her white picket fence missing. She pulls out her phone and calls her husband at an Arizona Cardinals football tailgate.
He admits he ripped out the fence and loaded it into his Hyundai Tucson, along with a cutout of the letter D, to chant the word “defense” with friends at the game.
“The fence worked great last week,” he says. “We got on the Jumbotron.”
His wife grudgingly accepts the explanation. “Go, Cardinals,” she says. “How much do we love football?” the narrator adds. “You have no idea.”
With the advertisement, aired during last Thursday’s regular-season NFL opener between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers, Hyundai introduced itself to the American public as an official sponsor of the nation’s most-watched sports league.
In June, Hyundai announced a four-year deal, replacing General Motors, which had sponsored the NFL since 2001.
The spot suggests that for now at least, Hyundai is sticking to its positioning as a family-oriented brand. Over the last few years, Hyundai has run ads in which its cars keep teenage drivers out of crashes and send a lonely daughter’s message to her astronaut father in space. Now, the company is stretching that theme to football.
“We want to showcase what passionate fans do,” Jacquelyn Kim, director of customer communications and promotions at Hyundai Motor America, said in a statement, “and include the role our vehicles can play in that.”
Hyundai uses the Twitter hashtag #BecauseFootball in the advertisement in a nod to the Korean automaker’s sponsorship of the FIFA soccer federation. Hyundai used the hashtag #BecauseFútbol during last year’s World Cup TV broadcast.
As part of its sponsorship deal, Hyundai presented a free kickoff concert Monday night in San Francisco, near where the 50th annual Super Bowl will be played Feb. 7.