Breathtaking speed and thrilling stunts—the eye-catching staples of high-performance cars. The recent release of Hyundai N’s promotional videos, created in celebration of the 2nd anniversary of the N brand’s first model i30 N, feature just such spectacles. The keyword of the N brand’s new videos is ‘Ngene,’ a wordplay on ‘engine’ that combines the N brand’s symbolic letter ‘N,’ ‘and ‘gene,’ which represents the high-performing genes of the brand.
The video consists of four films: Njected, Ngaged, Nergized and Nsanity. The story is about the protagonist who meets Veloster N, realizes his passion and spirit for challenge, and becomes a new man. The message is that the N brand, which takes “pure driving pleasure” as its identity, helps awaken the inhibited inner self of the protagonist.
For the making of the videos, Hyundai Motors partnered with Peaches, a Korean street-fashion brand comparable to Supreme and Nike in its hip, street appeal to younger generations. Their involvement in auto advertisement is a logical extension of such appeal to the demographic.
Peaches are better known internationally than domestically; their videos, featuring various tuning cars in dazzling production, had gone viral on YouTube and other social media. All of Peaches’s videos and other contents are produced by collaboration of the company’s experts in their respective fields. The same goes for the N-brand film. Under the direction of director and co-founder Kim Jong-kwon (a.k.a DawittGold), Peaches’s full capability in graphics, music, and copywriting were masterfully infused into the video series.
Njected: Meeting N
A car-loving protagonist sleeps in peace at night. In his eardrum rings the exhaust noise of the N model, and he is sucked into his dreams. Having returned to childhood, he meets Veloster N in darkness for the first time. A boxer in rigorous training and fierce fights, a tenacious skateboarder in practice, and a chess match at its highest tension—all representing relentlessness in face of failures— cuts in sequence.
At the moment of climactic tension, the protagonist jumps on Veloster N and pushes the button to trigger the N mode. With intense graphics, the video shows the protagonist being injected with the N-gene, stimulating all of his driver instincts. The Veloster N gallops through the night city; the boxer throws a decisive blow; the skateboarder successfully executes a difficult trick. The music accelrates to climax, and the protagonist awakes. As the chess player calls checkmate, the Veloster N opens its glaring eyes wide. The film ends.
‘Njected’, the first film of the four, portrays the moment of encounter between the protagonist and the N-gene in omnibus style. The way in which Veloster N awakens the protagonist’s internal passion fits the N brand’s identity, which too seeks to deliver to its drivers sensual pleasures of driving. What’s more, the theme of perseverance represents the N brand’s resolve in entering the high-performance auto market.
Ngaged: Becoming One with N
The second film “Ngaged” is a drama-style storytelling of the building relationship between the protagonist and N. Having awakened from his dream, the protagonist finds a mysterious car key in the capsule by his bedside. The key is none other than one for Veloster N, which is suddenly sitting in his home garage. Seeing Veloster N, he enters the vehicle and rejoices to discover that all this is reality. Veloster N guides the joyous protagonist to a strange location.
The location turns out to be a cryptic laboratory in which the N brand was born, and various N concept cars and WRC rally cars mesmerize the protagonist. Led by the researchers there, the protagonist approaches an almost mystical child, who informs him that he was selected to participate in an epic, dangerous race-in-space. The protagonist has no choice. He must prevail in the race with Veloster N.
Nergized: Embracing N’s Powers
The third film is a music video. Nafla and Loopy, winners of Korea’s hip-hop survival broadcast program ‘Show Me the Money 777’ put their powerful music on display. The music—titled ‘Nergized’ just as the film—begins with dreamlike melody and piercing rap. Drums roll; screams abound. The producer Tunnelno5’s solemn orchestra tunes in.
The music video is set in the aforementioned laboratory and Inje Speedium Circuits. The protagonist’s rigorous training for the race and his tenacity against repeated failures in Inje all symbolize unwavering determination.
Nsanity: Race in Madness
The final film is entirely in animation. In it, the protagonist is on Veloster N, racing for the glory for which he had prepared all along. The race, set in an anonymous planet somewhere in space, defies our image of motorsport. In a battle to literally remove competition, only the race-car’s performance and the driver’s skills can ensure survival.
Vivid, saturated colors and dynamic contours bring life and tension to the animation from the start. Spirited, up-tempo background music flows. Tires screech, and the protagonist averts a near-disaster with his driving skill. Having escaped defeat with help from the N Mode’s excellent performance, the protagonist enters the final course right behind the first-place competitor.
In the final chicane course, which resembles the N logo, the protagonist is neck-and-neck with the competitor. At this point, the competitor threateningly pushes the protagonist close to the left wall, but the protagonist closely dodges this maneuver. Instead, he uses the Veloster N’s powerful cornering ability and turns the corner on the open outside lane and rushes forward. “A cornering rascal” has done its job, and the checkered flags waves in front of the protagonist’s eyes. If the former films focused on the N brand’s underlying philosophies, this film emphasizes the Veloster N’s shining race track performance.
Responses to the Promo Films
How were the public responses to these unconventional promo films? A survey of the comments in the first film, which accumulated the highest number of viewers of the four, reveals that the film received quite an interest both domestically and internationally. One overseas fan remarked that the protagonist reminds him of himself, in that he too waited nearly five years for the N Model’s release. Another overseas fan said that the Veloster N’s exhaust noise is like the thrilling scream of a rally car
Domestic fans responded similarly, praising Hyundai and N brand’s attempts to do something new. One commenter said that both cinematography and music are beautifully executed, showing the care that Hyundai is investing into marketing its high performance brand. Another commenter said the films “set the trends, rather than merely following it.” Yet another domestic fan said: “I always just press the skip button as soon as possible when these ads come up. But N Brand films always make me search for them.”
The producer of the N brand films on Hyundai side is enthusiastic about the reception. Through collaboration with Peaches and its director Kim Jong-kwon, he said, the N brand has become more than just a high-performance car brand, marking an important turning point for appealing to the younger consumer segment. “More consumers will buy the N model because it belongs to the N brand. Of course, that loyalty could only exist thanks to the excellent performances and high-quality build of all our products,” he said.
Hyundai communicates internationally in various ways to promote the new N brand. More than just the four films discussed here, the Hyundai N Worldwide YouTube channel features other films featuring the birth of the N brand, N’s heroics in Motorsports competitions, and promotional videos made all over the world. A series featuring the daily lives of avid domestic fans of N in Seoul, Incheon, and Gapyeong is also of particular interest. In addition to these promotional contents, Hyundai also maintains the N brand website and the Instagram channel.