Hyundai has a new range anxiety commercial that spoofs the ads we see for miraculous new drugs. We are told they can cure acne, help us sleep better, or eliminate toe nail fungus. All of them end with someone speaking very rapidly about possible side effects. They sound like this: “Taking WondaDrug could cause heart failure, loss of IQ, severe cramping, frequent urination, depression, psychosis, or even death. Such side effects are rare. If you break out in hives, crash into telephone poles while driving, or have a sudden urge to vote for Donald Trump, stop taking WondaDrug and call your doctor right away.”
Now Hyundai has taken that standard format and made it the basis of a new video ad for the Sonata plug-in hybrid. It addresses the one thing people fear most about driving an electric car — range anxiety. Blame it on the original MINI-e or the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, both of which had an all-electric range measured in meters rather than miles. Those early cars taught us that range anxiety was real and just waiting for the chance to leave us stranded on a dark road in a bad neighborhood late at night while our loved ones searched frantically everywhere for our lifeless bodies.
No worries, says Hyundai. With a Sonata plug-in hybrid, people can drive wherever they want and never have to worry about range anxiety again. What a wonderful feeling to know your car won’t suddenly grind to a halt while the lights on the dashboard slowly fade to black. Like all good satire, the video makes gentle fun of its target, but ends with a serious message. It’s OK to drive an electric car. You don’t even have to dress like a monk doing penance. You can go where you want, when you want, and never fear that you won’t be able to make it home without plugging in.
Hyundai says Americans no longer have to worry about being trapped inside their charging zone. The only thing missing from the video is a sound track featuring Bobby McFerrin singing, “Don’t worry. Be happy.” Enjoy!