How Hyundai’s ‘Shackleton Returns’ Video Campaign Drove Automotive Brand To Top Position

How Hyundai’s ‘Shackleton Returns’ Video Campaign Drove Automotive Brand To Top Position

A hundred years after Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition, Patrick Bergel, the great-grandson of Shackleton, along with Hyundai Motor, took on Shackleton’s unfinished dream. Bergel completed what his great grandfather started over 100 years ago by achieving the first crossing of the coldest and driest continent on earth by car. It was that spirit of endurance shown by Shackleton that inspired Hyundai Motor to visit the Antarctic and enable a member of Shackleton’s family to complete what had been started over 100 years ago. The video goes on to tell how Bergel made history by becoming the first to drive a passenger car across the Antarctic. The 30-day expedition, facilitated by Hyundai Motor, saw Bergel and a small team take on almost 3,600 miles (5,800 kilometers) of icy terrain in bitter conditions. Our film celebrates this spirit and through Patrick, his Great Grandson, completes his dream to cross Antarctica – just a hundred years later.” Other Examples of Brand Storytelling Of course, Hyundai isn’t the first brand to tap into historic events from 100 years ago to tell a powerful story today. The video, which is 3 minutes and 40 seconds long, has over 19 million views. Inspired by real events from 100 years earlier, Sainsbury’s Christmas advert also tells a story worth retelling. Great video storytelling by “Shackleton Returns” drove Hyundai to the #1 Automotive Brand Property in May according to the Tubular Labs industry leaderboards. Now, that’s a great story worth retelling at the next meeting to plan your company’s or client’s next video campaign.

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A hundred years after Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition, Patrick Bergel, the great-grandson of Shackleton, along with Hyundai Motor, took on Shackleton’s unfinished dream. Bergel completed what his great grandfather started over 100 years ago by achieving the first crossing of the coldest and driest continent on earth by car. The 30-day expedition was facilitated by Hyundai and undertaken in a 2.2-litre diesel Hyundai Santa Fe with limited modifications. The expedition was also made into a short film by Hyundai Motor.

“Hyundai ‘Shackleton’s Return’ – Main film” (video below) is a remarkable example of great video storytelling. So, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that the primary version of the video has more than 100 million views on the Hyundai Worldwide YouTube channel, a second version has another 6.5 million views on the Hyundai Facebook page, and a third version has another 1.5 million views on the Hyundai Australia YouTube channel.

Hyundai: Video Storytelling Lessons

There are several lessons that video marketers can learn from Hyundai’s “Shackleton Returns.” The first is this: Great storytelling starts with having a great story worth retelling. So, instead of beginning with Hyundai’s vision that people can go anywhere, at any time by automobile, the brand began with the heroic story of Shackleton from one hundred years ago.

Shackleton’s heroic Trans-Antarctic journey of 1914-17 was “Plan B.” Having been beaten to the Pole by Roald Amundsen, Shackleton tried to become the first to cross the continent. His ship sank in pack ice, but the heroic explorer and five men sailed 800 miles over open, stormy sea to South Georgia, from where a successful rescue could be launched. It was that spirit of endurance shown by Shackleton that inspired Hyundai Motor to visit the Antarctic and enable a member of Shackleton’s family to complete what had been started over 100 years ago.

And this is also a story told well. The 5:13-long video opens with a small advertisement that appeared in a London newspaper in 1913. It reads: “Men wanted for hazardous journey, small-wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger. Safe return doubtful, honour and recognition in case of success. Ernest Shackleton, 4 Burlington st.” In other words, the backstory hooks you from the start.

The video goes…

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