IONIQ 5 N helps drivers beat the winter blues

Agency: Innocean Berlin


To launch Hyundai’s all-electric, high-performance IONIQ 5 N, Hyundai Motor Europe and Innocean set a unique challenge for the car: beat the winter blues in one of Europe’s darkest cities.

IONIQ 5 N is not a traditional car; it’s an everyday sportscar with racetrack capabilities and features such as N Drift Optimizer and N Grin Boost, which allow for peak performance and driving pleasure at the touch of a button.

So, instead of a traditional launch campaign, Hyundai teamed up with a neuroscientist to measure the physical and neurological changes that take place in a human when driving IONIQ 5 N, with the aim of testing whether the car has a positive effect.

The winter blues, also called seasonal affective disorder (S A D), affects more than 390 million people every year. The conditions that contribute to S A D are heightened in Rjukan, Norway, which is one of Europe’s darkest cities – and its surrounding region immersed in darkness for nearly half the year. Rjukan’s challenging conditions made it the perfect setting to see if driving IONIQ 5 N can beat the blues even in the depths of winter.

The scientific test, called “Experiment N”, took place on a frozen river across four days with 20 participants from Rjukan and surrounding regions. Each driver was screened for S A D, with those fitting the screening criteria being recruited as participants.

Hyundai enlisted neuroscientist Shani Tal and her team to develop the ‘DOJO’ metric, short for ‘Depth of Joy’. This is a first-of-its kind method for measuring the physical and neurological changes before, during, and after driving. DOJO is a new concept that records the emotional impact of driving IONIQ 5 N.

Each participant’s DOJO was assessed by combining various technologies measuring a range of bodily metrics, including brain waves, skin responses, and heart rate variability along with a range of qualitative data metrics.

The results of the experiment were overwhelmingly positive. The drivers experienced an increase in DOJO by 28%, with an increase of the positive reactions ranging up to 67%. In addition, 75% of the drivers experienced an overall improved positive emotional response. With this, IONIQ 5 N becomes the first car to beat the winter blues, even in one of Europe’s darkest cities.

The experiment is documented in a four-minute film, also created by Innocean, which will run on Hyundai’s YouTube, Meta, and Instagram channels across Europe, including Germany, Norway, U.K., France, and other key markets.

The launch was preceded by a teaser campaign released earlier this year on YouTube and on Hyundai’s social channels, in which lead neuroscientist Shani Tal outlines the experiment.

“The experiment shows a clear link between the depth of joy and IONIQ 5 N. Our objective was to extend our usual target audience, creating a halo effect by addressing a common and relatable pain point – the winter blues – with a unique solution. One that would demonstrate the unique capabilities of IONIQ 5 N,” Andrea Razeto, Head of Brand Strategy & Campaign, Hyundai Motor Europe.

With Experiment N, Hyundai’s commitment to progress and innovation enters new frontiers: that of the human mind. The DOJO metric serves as a milestone for the brand in exploring emotional responses to driving.

This professional campaign titled 'IONIQ 5 N helps drivers beat the winter blues' was published in Germany in April, 2024. It was created for the brand: Hyundai, by ad agency: Innocean Berlin. This Integrated medium campaign is related to the Automotive industry and contains 1 media asset. It was submitted 3 months ago.


Client: Hyundai Motor Europe
CMO: Andreas-Christoph Hofmann
Director Marketing: Laura Rathai
Head of Brand Strategy & Campaign: Andrea Razeto
Brand & Product Campaigns Team Lead: Hyang A Kim
Marketing and N Brand Lead: Bastien Saunier

Agency: Innocean Berlin
European Chief Creative Officer: Gabriel Mattar
Executive Creative Director: Ricardo Wolff
Creative Director: Sebastian Pattis
Creative Director: Jose Suaid
Art Director: Changkyu Ku
Copywriter: Divya Mirlay

Chief Operating Officer: Alessia Belline
Business Director: Björn Wilke / Sebastian Sährig
Project Lead: Michael Dunker
Account Director: Anna Moskalenko
Junior Digital Account Manager: Ismail Cobanoglu

Head of Production: Fabian Barz
Senior Producer: Michael Endres
Senior Producer: Hannes Andresen
Senior Producer: Markus Wetschewald

Strategy Director: Anna Nowak-Otto / Sophia Görner
Senior Strategist: Serena Merletti

Senior Media Manager: Maja Lah
Senior Media Manager: Karim Makarem

Havas, European Business Lead: Wolfgang Ruch

Film Production Company: UNIT 9 Films Ltd.
Managing Director: Adam Dolman
Executive Producer: Adrew Davis
Senior Producer: Harry Starkey-Midha
Production Manager: Daisy Heathwood
Senior Producer: Manuela Mesrie

Neuroscientist: Shani Tal
Hardware Engineer: Hugh Boys
Director: Simon Reichel
DoP: Tom Elliot
Offline: Benedikt Strick
Music / Soundmix / SFX: Chris Banks

Postproduction Company: okay studios
Executive Producer Color: Franky Chadwick

Postproduction Company: TobyundTron
Executive Producer Postproduction: Steffen Tron

Service Production: northern location
Line Producer: Eirik Vaage


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