Hyundai ‘We make WAH’: Blending its Canadian Pride with Korean Roots

Hyundai is redefining its communications in Canada by releasing a catalogue of all-new marketing communications, drawing on cultural elements from its dual national identity – South Korea and Canada. Hyundai Auto Canada’s new platform is “We make WAH” with continued emphasis on the Korean expression – “WAH” (와). The phrase “WAH” similar to “Wow” in English will be prevalent in every single customer touchpoint to encapsulate the excitement, pleasure and enjoyment Hyundai strives to impart on every customer’s ownership experience.

As part of this new Canadian-Korean communications platform, Hyundai Auto Canada is pleased to confirm it will apply the additional title of “Official Electric Vehicle of the NHL and NHLPA” to its vehicle partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), marking the first time an automotive partner has made the “electric vehicle” distinction in its affiliation tagline.

“The combination of ‘WAH’ and our partnership with the NHL and NHLPA will revitalize our marketing activities, while setting a new tone for not only our identity, but how we approach the business,” says Christine Smith, director of marketing at Hyundai Auto Canada. “Ahead of any project or major decision, we need to ask ourselves, ‘Are we delivering WAH in this moment? Are we surprising with joy?’ To the latter point, the partnership with the NHL and NHLPA provides the perfect way to bring joy to our customers, leveraging players and opportunities to grow the sport in Canada, and on the dealer level to engage directly with customers.”

“We are WAH”

Hyundai Auto Canada is proud to be the first subsidiary for Hyundai outside of Korea, through its inception in 1983. In homage to its South Korean roots, Hyundai Auto Canada will apply the Korean phrase, “WAH,” to all elements of marketing communications, unifying its diverse lineup of electric vehicles, hybrids, and ICE models. “WAH” and the Korean character, 와, will be present in every touchpoint for Hyundai in Canada, including: social media, digital, print, cinema, events, out of home and point of purchase advertising.

“In Korean, ‘WAH’ is a single syllable that captures positive emotion in a broad sense. Its versatility allows it to apply to individual experiences for our customers, and shared moments for our entire network of dealers and team members,” says June (Jun Hyung) Lim, public relations and marketing executive coordinator, Hyundai Motor North America. “‘WAH’ in the context of Hyundai is genuine, it is what drives us to inspire, impress and excite our customers. When I think of ‘WAH’ the Korean definition for me is, to surprise with joy.”

WAH is hockey

Through the news of its new “WAH” communications platform, Hyundai’s partnership title with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) will now be styled as, “Official Electric Vehicle of the NHL and NHLPA,” in addition to holding the claim of “Official Automotive Partner of the NHL and NHLPA in Canada, which includes the Genesis brand being the NHL and NHLPA’s Official Luxury Automotive Partner in Canada.

Through this partnership, Hyundai will also shift its multiyear partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) into drive. This partnership elevates Hyundai Canada’s “Made for Those Who Drive Hockey” campaign to the big stage, including the integration of NHL players within Hyundai brand spots. It will pave the way for Hyundai to shine an even bigger spotlight on hockey drivers across the country and create a lasting connection with Canadians through the shared love of the game.

James Chung

Vancouver Lifestyle, Cool Tech & Travel Adventure. Email:

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