With cars set to be driverless and WiFi-controlled sooner than you can sing "Meet George Jetson", it seems perfectly natural that car companies should start easing customers into the idea of connecting with their car online.
Hyundai has kicked off by launching a customer platform that acts as rewards system, entertainment centre, and Hyundai customer community hub all in one.
Hyundai iQ Rewards is "a community to make your ownership experience more seamless and driving more enjoyable”.
The platform is loaded with content to keep the kids, or kids-at-heart, entertained on a long drive.
“Here at Hyundai we’re all about New Zealand and New Zealanders,” one ad says, and they’ve stayed militantly true to form. Hyundai owners can download Hairy Maclary audiobooks, watch Kiwi-made video content, or listen to The Black Seeds and The Phoenix Foundation on the music playlist.
They can set schedules for their next service, and are offered in-app deals on things like accessories and services.
On signing up, the brand asks you to rate your car out of five stars and leave a short comment about your car.
One person took umbrage at the suggestion that they should have to write something about their car, and wrote something about the suggestion instead.
It also asks you whether you’d like to become a 'Hyundai Advocate', and strongly hints at perks.
“If you love your Hyundai (and love to talk about it), you might just like being a Hyundai Advocate too. With potential Hyundai owners asking you about what it’s like to drive a Hyundai, you can enjoy sharing your passion for great cars with others, plus we’ll treat you like a VIP!”
Plus non-Hyundai users can even sign up to access reviews from ‘real users’ – but presumably not from Mister or Mrs "Don'T WANT TO" (sic).
If people use the platform it'll be a big win for Hyundai in terms of both getting their branding in front of customers as much as possible, as well as harvesting customer testimonials and collecting data on current and prospective Hyundai owners for future campaigns.
Other ads from Hyundai New Zealand this year include a Kiwi dad whizzing his kids around a racecourse in a Santa Fe to prove the car isn’t “gutless”, as Graham from Canterbury suggested on the Hyundai Ask a Santa Fe Driver campaign website.
Celebrity rally driver Hayden Paddon checking out the Hyundai NZ warehouse:
As well as some more good ol' celebrity endorsement from restaurateur Al Brown and netballer Bernice Mene.
And not to forget regular codgers like Steve from the Royal Akarana Yacht club: