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Shahrukh Khan and Hyundai – A Phenomenal Association

Shahrukh Khan and Hyundai – A Phenomenal Association

Snapshot: Shahrukh Khan has been the brand ambassador of Hyundai India for 20 years to become world’s longest-running brand ambassador.

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Shahrukh Khan is certainly one of the most headturning names in India and, synonymous to his stature, he is the brand ambassador for several national and international brands and their products. In the Indian automotive arena, he has been the brand ambassador of Hyundai Motor India for the past two decades. With this association with Hyundai, ‘King Khan’ has added yet another feather in his crown of becoming the longest-running brand ambassador in the world.

Certainly this comes as an unique feat like the rest of his other achievements. Not just only for Shahrukh, but this collaboration is very unique for Hyundai as well. The South Korean auto manufacturer is the only automobile brand in the world to be associated with an ace Bollywood celebrity for so long. Speaking about the brand Shahrukh’s journey, it started way back in 1988 when Liberty shoes tied up with him for an ad campaign. In the post-liberalization era in Indian economy, brand-SRK grew rapidly.

Amidst so many multinational brands, Hyundai became one major company to rope in King Khan in the late 90’s. The Korean automaker entered Indian market back in 1998 and from the very beginning they made the right choice by naming Shahrukh Khan their brand ambassador. Indian car market was less congested at that time due to the presence of a very few brands. But, new-entrant Hyundai was facing rivalry from global brands like Honda, Toyota and Fiat. Also, Maruti Suzuki was still the most formidable brand at that time along with the Hindustan Motors.

Despite the fierce competition, Hyundai was able to make its mark almost instantly, thanks to the tallboy hatchback Santro that still rings a bell in people’s mind. While the styling, specifications and all the technical details of the Santro hatchback definitely played crucial role in making it one of the most popular cars of all time in Indian market, another big factor behind its success was the significant associative value of the phenomenal brand-SRK. Interestingly, Shahrukh used a red coloured Santro in his first film as producer, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani. No wonder, a clever move to promote the car and endorse Hyundai!

Television sector in India was seeing a boom at that time and new channels were pouring in. We also saw the capability of television advertisements as they used to make a connection with masses almost instantly. The brand-SRK and Hyundai swiftly encashed the opportunity to enter into people’s hearts and lure them towards the showrooms. So, this was the beginning of the two-decade old association through this cocktail.

We still remember, Shahrukh Khan’s ads for the Hyundai cars like Santro, i10, Elantra etc that invoked the superstar’s enthralling charm and humour. No wonder, Hyundai Motor India made a good reputation amidst buyers banking on the brand-Shahrukh. In recent times, we have seen him endorsing the contemporary models from the brand such as Verna, Xcent, Creta etc. Besides endorsing the car models, Shahrukh Khan has been an integral part of Hyundai’s road safety awareness campaign #BeTheBetterGuy as well.

Interestingly, we are talking about Shahrukh Khan and Hyundai’s association at a time, when the Korean car brand is gearing up to relaunch the Santro nameplate in India. It’s like rejuvenating the partnership that started 20 years ago. No wonder, the new Santro will come in a completely restyled and modern avatar compared to the original model, but the brand-SRK will certainly play an indispensable role in making the new Santro a gamechanger product like it did two decades ago.

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