To reach influential young Koreans with its newest premium credit card offering, Hyundai commissioned 27-year-old multidisciplinary artist Coco Capitán to design a collection of limited-edition sneakers featuring her iconic handwritten prose as an exclusive collaboration available only to select cardmembers.
The partnership drew lines around the block of Seoul’s cultural venue Vinyl & Plastic for a chance to purchase the sneakers, which sold out within hours, and experience the hyper-saturated immersive environment dedicated to Capitán’s collaboration.
The collaboration came to life across digital, film, and social media channels alongside an immersive multimedia store experience, setting the precedent for Hyundai’s ‘Green’ card as one of the most progressive brands catering to Korean millennials.
The largest credit card company in South Korea, Hyundai Card is known for its cultural relevance and activations, having hosted performances by artists such as Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Sam Smith, Maroon 5 and Sting, as well as exhibitions by Jean Paul Gaultier, Javier Mariscal, Tim Burton and Studio Ghibli.
Hyundai’s newest premium card, ‘the Green,’ provides premium cultural, travel, and gourmet activities for young Koreans in their 20s and 30s. As one of the most beloved artists among this group, thanks in part to her six-month solo exhibition at Seoul’s Daelim Museum from 2018-2019, Coco Capitán was the brand’s dream collaborator to design an exclusive product available only to cardmembers.
Hyundai Card produced 300 pairs of the limited-edition sneakers featuring neon green soles, calligraphy, and artwork by Capitán, which centered on the narrative concept of ‘The Villain’ and included the phrases ‘To Kill the Hero’ and ‘Who Was the First King?’
Hyundai felt that the concept spoke to the cultural identity of its ‘the Green’ cardmembers because they are often treated as villains who have not adapted to the world, rejecting society’s demands to become a wealthy CEO or a scholar, and rebelling by living their lives with their own thoughts, philosophies, and values. A guerrilla-style poster marketing campaign teased the design of the sneakers, using only Capitán’s name to generate buzz and excitement around the collaboration before the big reveal.
To promote the collaboration, the brand created a ten-minute narrative film juxtaposing Capitán’s whimsical writings with darker motifs, revealing the tension between youthfulness and uneasiness, and introducing the symbol of a transformative ‘Green Moon.’ The film was part of Hyundai Card’s overarching strategy to weave together theatrical-quality unbranded films for each of its four premium colored cards to include in film festivals.
"Coco has a great way with language, an ability to coin cute-but-dark aphorisms, that reveal that tension between joy and unease".
Held from October 5 to October 20, 2019, an installation at Seoul’s progressive Vinyl & Plastic cultural venue and music hub featured dozens of Capitán’s neon green-soled sneakers on display with complementary translucent neon green plastic shopping bags descending from the ceiling. Neon masking tapes designed by Capitán and featuring her handwritten artwork were wrapped throughout the space, which was dominated by a sculpture of the green moon from the film, creating an immersive takeover atmosphere.
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