The premise behind this ad for the Hyundai Sonata is really very cool. You can just imagine a bunch of ad execs sitting around a conference table going all Mad Men as they talk about their plan to use the ExoBaby to convince people they want a Hyundai Sonata. Yet, something went horribly, terribly wrong between that conference table and the finished product.
First, the Sonata is a nice car and I’m personally a big fan. I drove it. I liked it. I’d recommend it. The ExoBaby, however, makes me want to run screaming in the opposite direction. I can’t tell if he’s supposed to be a baby RoboCop or a baby Terminator or some other kind of freaky AI but I do not like him at all. Maybe he’s Mega Man’s little brother because he seems to have stolen his suit. Who knows?
The ad starts off with a baby being made better with his fancy robot suit and the ad steps deep into the uncanny valley of creepiness. We see him karate-chopping like a ninja, falling down the stairs without injury, and then we see the back of his suit opening like an old pair of underwear so he can poop. There are even sound effects to be sure you get that he is pooping.
What in the name of all that is Holy does this have to do with the Hyundai Sonata?
He then shows off the technological wizardry of his suit as he evades bath time by engaging turbo boost and jumping through a plate glass window. As Mom chases him down the walkway there’s even a nod to the Six Million Dollar Man with a little slo-mo accompanied by that bionic sound effect before the kid’s dog shuts the gate and traps him in the yard.
ExoBaby eventually passes out after a tough day of being a baby and it’s revealed that the baby in the suit is really you in your Hyundai Sonata with its advanced high strength steel, smart trunk, and collision warning systems. Get it? Yeah, me neither.
All this ad made me do was associate the Hyundai Sonata with baby poop and I somehow don’t think that’s what they were going for when they were sitting around that conference table.