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Innovation + Future + Culture = MADE IN HANKOOK

Though tires are an indispensable and important part of automobile culture, tires rarely come up as the first topic of conversation when talking about the industry. This is why Hankook Tire’s marketing brand ‘MADE IN HANKOOK’ was created. Branding with innovation at its core makes people talk and ‘MADE IN HANKOOK’ will be the next conversation starter.

Fresh and original collaborations between brands have become hot topics in everyday conversation. Picture the collaborations between sports brand Adidas and luxury fashion brand Gucci, Samsung Electronics’ mobile phone brand Galaxy and male designer brand Thom Browne, car brand MINI and Starbucks summer-limited campaigns These are just a few of the recent collaborations that gave rise to interesting conversation.

Innovation is the key to ‘MADE IN HANKOOK’

Hankook Tire's strength resides in the belief that it’s essence is more than tires. The essence which the company pursues is that of innovation. The company's ambition is to lead the overall future mobility culture beyond manufacturing. At the center is ‘MADE IN HANKOOK.’

The company's brand ‘MADE IN HANKOOK’, projects an idea of going beyond being just a tire company. The naming of MADE IN HANKOOK implies the pride in being a Korean company with passion, commitment, and ambition.

'MADE IN HANKOOK' seeks to provide new entertainment and enjoyable experiences that reflect the characteristics and tastes of the MZ generation. This includes mobility, fashion, sports, music, and offline events, along with diverse and innovative tangible and intangible services within a new younger lifestyle.

“Sponsoring a music festival and decorating a cultural space may not directly lead to the purchase of tires. ‘MADE IN HANKOOK’ aims to create colorful and unique cultural marketing activities that further Hankook Tire’s larger goal, to communicate with the MZ generation and lead the driving culture.”

- Hankook Tire & Technology Motor Culture Project Team

‘MADE IN HANKOOK’ released two videos on August 29th under the theme of ‘Techno Vision,' the core value of the brand, with its subtitles, Ventus and iON respectively. To briefly introduce the two videos, the Technovision Ventus video begins with Technoplex, the headquarters of Hankook Tire.

A mysterious envelope is sent to a man sitting at the office working just like any other day. Discovering the car key in the envelope, he imagines racing around a track with a powerful engine sound surrounding him. In his imagination, he rides a Ford GT equipped with Hankook Tire's ultra-high-performance sports tire Ventus S1 Evo Z. He’s driving down the straight away of Hankook Technoring, the largest tire test track in Asia. The vivid visuals provide a sense of speed and give viewers a sense of driving in person.

  • ‘MADE IN HANKOOK’ Technovision Ventus video.

  • ‘MADE IN HANKOOK’ Technovision iON video.

The second video also uses Technoring as the main stage, but the main character is different. This time, the focus is on iON, an electric vehicle tire brand that is emerging as a new key item in the tire market. The scene begins with an electric vehicle equipped with iON overtaking an internal combustion engine vehicle that has been ahead the entire time. This visual seeks to show the future mobility market to come, revealing the youthful and dynamic image that ‘MADE IN HANKOOK’ pursues. For the MZ generation, who prefer images over text, this story is a compelling message.

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Mobility branding that can be seen, tasted, touched and enjoyed

‘2022 MADE IN HANKOOK’ was an event held at Peaches Dowon in Seongsu-dong, called the trendiest place in Seoul, the capital of Korea. The event was a place to approach the public in earnest from September 30 to October 9, 2022. Peaches Dowon has established itself as a representative attraction that the MZ generation doesn’t miss when visiting Seongsu-dong.

Seung-won Park, the leader of the Hankook Tire Motor Culture Project, explained why he chose Peaches Dowon as a space to reinterpret Hankook Tire’s unique innovative mobility and culture easily and on trend for the MZ generation. “Peaches Dowon is a must-see space for many in their twenties visiting Seongsu-dong. This includes women in their twenties, as well as young families. This is a key distinguishing element of Peaches Dowon as most automobile-related spaces are male-dominated. This distinguishing factor makes the space an ideal place to spread the future-oriented and youthful image that ‘MADE IN HANKOOK’ seeks in automobile culture.”

The first thing that welcomed visitors during the event was an acrylic model of the Formula E race car. The reason for placing an object modeled after the GEN 3 race car to be used from the new season at the entrance is clear. The electric vehicle tire iON made by Hankook Tire will be used as the official Formula E tire. The tires mounted on the car body made of transparent acrylic stand out during the day, while the LEDs that color the car body in different colors draw more public attention at night.

In the garage of Peaches Dowon, ‘Make your own art eraser’ and ‘Tire pattern design’ experiences were prepared as visitor engagement events. Applicants were able to make a tire-shaped eraser by choosing clay of their choice from a variety of colors and placing it into a mold, then designing the tread pattern of the tire by using a tablet PC provided at the site. Posters made with lenticular prints that change the image depending on the viewing angle were placed on both sides of the tunnel from the garage to the gallery, allowing people to see the history of motorsports that Hankook Tire has built over the years, such as the F3, DTM, and 24-hour series at a glance.

A minicar racetrack was installed in the gallery. The Hankook Technoring Diorama Track, where three minicars can drive at the same time, is a model of the state-of-the-art test track completed by Hankook Tire in May. The details of Hankook Technoring are showcased, and the name, lap time, and ranking of the participants are displayed in real time on the LED display of the diorama track, just like in a real racing competition.

There was also a track on the roof, where people could actually ride a tricycle-type mini electric cart. The Gymkhana Experience Center, where people can enjoy driving when wearing a helmet and elbow and knee protectors, was a short course that even novices could enjoy. This experience was enough to show the essence of motorsports, and also gave the attendees an opportunity to drive through a series of obstacles.

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The fashion goods produced in collaboration with Peaches, like sweatshirts that borrowed the visually appealing Hankook Technoring, were also sold at the event. In particular, the Hankook Tire x Knotted collaboration donut made in the shape of a tire and the drink with the identity color of iON, the electric vehicle tire brand, as a motif provided a delicious and visually appealing opportunity that attendees immensely enjoyed. At the post-party on the last day of the event, passionate artists decorated the fun and unique finale of ‘MADE IN HANKOOK.’

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“Few people have their heart pounding when they think of a tire. They think it's just a lump of black rubber. We wanted to change that misnomer. We’re trying to show that even manufacturing-based brands can embrace a wide range of cultural activities and deliver stories which are flexible and interesting.” This is the answer that Seung-won Park, the leader of the Motor Culture Project, came up with when asked about the meaning of ‘MADE IN HANKOOK.’

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Regarding the characteristics of the MZ generation, they are sensitive to digital based trends, pursue experiences different from others and focus on consumption by considering their social values and messages beyond the utility of objects themselves. Those characteristics is akin to the vision of ‘MADE IN HANKOOK’ which is to create and share striking videos on YouTube and provide a pleasant brand consumption experience beyond the tire as a product.

Hankook Tire uses its unique innovation culture in software along with infrastructure assets based on a triangular formation of innovation consisting of Technoplex, Hankook Technodome, and Hankook Technoring to promote its attractive branding that goes beyond manufacturing, similar to brands like Apple, Porsche, and Patagonia. Look ahead to the future of Hankook Tire as we take a leap forward with ‘MADE IN HANKOOK’.