A Million Dollars For What? (Reactions to Hyundai Sonata Commercial)

Have you ever seen the recent Hyundai Sonata commercials? The specific one that caught my eye, or caught my despise, was where the older, distinguished, rich man, tried to offer the owner of Sonata a million dollars just to drive it for one night. (I couldn’t find the clip on YouTube, or anywhere else, so if anyone can point me to a source, please let me know).

My initial reaction was one of disgust as the words “Get Real!” came launching out of my mouth. I realize that maybe I should be the one ‘getting real’ if I’m trying to take commercials too seriously and actually believe that ads should be realistic. Still, I think this Sonata commercial goes beyond even nonsense.

In the clip, the owner thinks about the million dollar offer very briefly and replies with an emphatic ‘No!’  I have a few issues which turns my crank. First off, why would the rich man (with an air of snobbishness) even make such an offer if he could buy his own Sonata (many Sonatas) and drive it every night of his life, if he so chooses? And why would the Sonata owner refuse when he could have taken the money and bought a brand new Sonata (many Sonatas), if he so chooses? Why couldn’t this blind luck of an offer have come my way from a rich neighbour?

The rich man’s intentions? I don’t like the vibe that this ad is giving off. It’s as if the man is flaunting his wealth and purposely tempting someone with his power. He can buy any car he wants, but purposely tries to take away a vehicle that has personal meaning and memories to the owner. Maybe the rich man is testing a theory or hypothesis to see how many of us would throw away something we’ve grown attached to, even for just one night, for cold, hard cash. Maybe he is not offering a million dollars for the car, but actually for your soul, heart, and consciousness?

The Sonata owner’s intentions? In having him refuse the offer, the commercial is obviously promoting (or exaggerating) how valuable the Sonata is,  how you will grow so attached with it, that you could not even afford to lose it for even one night, regardless of the cost or benefits.

My intentions? I don’t know. I maybe should be happy that the Sonata owner resisted and sent a message to the rich man that money isn’t everything. But how many of us in real life would be tested with a question of loyalty to our cars that even comes to the absurd situation presented in this commercial? Though I was upset at the commercial, maybe the ad had the desired effect on me because I’m still thinking about it. Or maybe I am more upset at the rich man than the car or the message. Either way, the commercial perhaps does a good job in raising discussion about various social status and value issues, but it sure doesn’t make me want to buy a Sonata.

-Patrick Law




Filed under Detours: Psychology of Driving

12 responses to “A Million Dollars For What? (Reactions to Hyundai Sonata Commercial)

  1. Pat

    You have valid points right there. Your second to last paragraph contains what would seem to be the most likely intentions of the creators of the ad. But still, the way they made the commercial gave a different impression.

  2. Hello Patricia,
    Thanks for visiting this blog and sharing your views of the Sonata ad. I am wondering how they even research or consider if their intentions truly work on the public, and if it leads to increased sales. Maybe their point isn’t for us to fully buy their argument or pitch, but just to create a drama or scene that is memorable. I guess in that sense it’s working, as I still can’t get the ad out of my mind.

  3. Sean

    I actually really like this commercial for some reason. The way the distinguished gentleman poses the question cracks me up every time. He actually proposes to give the man “one million dollars to spend one night with it.” It is an obvious parody of Indecent Proposal with Robert Redford… great commercial.

  4. Hello Sean,
    Thanks for visiting the blog and offering an alternative opinion to this topic. You showed me an angle that I didn’t really consider. Part of the reason is that I had no idea that there was an intended connection to Robert Redford.

    Recently played Scene It with my friends and, obviously, I didn’t do too well.

    For sure, knowing some of the references, background, themes of the commercial may give me a better appreciation. Sean, the stylistic methods of the commercial caught your eye, but how about the car itself? What does the commercial do for you in terms of the Sonata?

  5. Spance

    Are you fucking stupid, it’s a clip from a movie where a guy offers a husband a million dollars to spend one night with his wife. (so the clip is a joke….) I don’t know the name of the movie. I’m not sure what’s funnier the commercial, or you for reading so far into the commercial. Clearly you have no life, or just really hate Hyundai

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