Hyundai’s chatty school bus experience gets kids talking


Bus journeys sure can be a drag.

And for schoolchildren in South Korea, that’s particularly true. Many youngsters in the country often have to spend up to two hours inside the confines of yellow school buses to travel distances of 60km or more to school.

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That can be tedious for anyone to endure, but for hearing-impaired children, it can be a real challenge.

But Hyundai Motor Group research engineers set out on a mission to combat commuting boredom and to create a way also for youngsters with hearing difficulties to interact more closely with their classmates.

Working closely alongside Chunhju Sungshim School in Chungju City, Hyundai engineers spoke with schoolteacher Yeon Samuel about the importance of making the daily school bus journey more enjoyable for kids, especially those traveling from afar.

Hyundai came up with an ingenious solution, one inspired by childhood days spent doodling on steamed-up windows.

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The automotive group explored what technology could replicate this experience, and also considered visual characters that the kids would like and respond well to. The goal was to make bus rides fun by providing a means of communication with one another, all from the comfort of the children’s own seats.

Connected technology provided the answer. The unsuspecting kids were stunned and delighted when the windows of their school bus suddenly exploded to life with inviting cartoon characters and questions for them – and soon realised that they could instantly send messages to their friends inside the bus by doodling and drawing messages on the windows.

But the clever activation also took things one big step further, as it allowed the children to send messages and video content direct to their parent’s smartphones.

Of course, the activation was designed to reinforce Hyundai’s positioning as a leading automotive brand that is looking to the future of driving with connected technology, but the heartwarming video also served to bring children together, with the ‘sketchbook window’ from the campaign donated to Sungshim School to be used as an education material after filming had wrapped up.

It’s not the first time, however, that a school bus journey has been completely transformed thanks to experiential marketing – American aerospace company Lockheed Martin wowed children in Washington, DC with a journey across the galaxy. Meanwhile, Swiss real estate website’s also brought children’s dreams to life in a magical way through the use of virtual reality to create their very own dream houses.

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Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.