Hyundai Experiment Aims to Help People Beat the Winter Blues in One of the Darkest Cities

The scientific test, called “Experiment N”, took place on a frozen river across four days with 20 participants from Rjukan and surrounding regions.

As part of a new campaign for the IONIQ 5  N Hyundai Motor Europe and Innocean have set a unique challenge for the car: beat the winter blues in one of Europe’s darkest cities.

Instead of a traditional launch campaign, Hyundai teamed up with a neuroscientist to measure the physical and neurological changes that take place in a human when driving IONIQ 5 N, to test whether or not the car has a positive effect.

The winter blues, also called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), affects more than 390 million people every year. According to the campaign, the conditions that contribute to SAD are heightened in Rjukan, Norway, which is one of Europe’s darkest cities – and its surrounding region immersed in darkness for nearly half the year.


The campaign says that Rjukan’s challenging conditions made it the perfect setting to see if driving IONIQ 5 N can beat the blues even in the depths of winter.

The scientific test, called “Experiment N”, took place on a frozen river across four days with 20 participants from Rjukan and surrounding regions. Each driver was screened for S A D, with those fitting the screening criteria being recruited as participants.

Hyundai enlisted neuroscientist Shani Tal and her team to develop the ‘DOJO’ metric, short for ‘Depth of Joy’. This is a first-of-its kind method for measuring the physical and neurological changes before, during, and after driving. DOJO is a new concept that records the emotional impact of driving IONIQ 5 N.


Each participant’s DOJO was assessed by combining various technologies measuring a range of bodily metrics, including brain waves, skin responses, and heart rate variability along with a range of qualitative data metrics.

According to the campaign results of the experiment were overwhelmingly positive.

“The drivers experienced an increase in DOJO by 28%, with an increase of the positive reactions ranging up to 67%. In addition, 75% of the drivers experienced an overall improved positive emotional response. With this, IONIQ 5 N becomes the first car to beat the winter blues, even in one of Europe’s darkest cities,” the campaign said in a release.

“The experiment shows a clear link between the depth of joy and IONIQ 5 N. Our objective was to extend our usual target audience, creating a halo effect by addressing a common and relatable pain point – the winter blues – with a unique solution. One that would demonstrate the unique capabilities of IONIQ 5 N,” said Andrea Razeto, Head of Brand Strategy & Campaign, Hyundai Motor Europe.

“It’s often said that driving boosts joy. But for the first time, we’re putting this claim to the test. This is why we measure a whole range of different bodily metrics to test DOJO in these individuals,” said Shani Tal, lead neuroscientist.

“Experiment N is a testament to the N brand’s motto of ’Never Just Drive’. The car’s technology forms the core of this experiment. It’s what separates IONIQ 5 N from other brands in the same segment and takes the joy of driving to new levels,” addedGabriel Mattar, CCO, INNOCEAN Berlin.


Client: Hyundai Motor Europe
CMO: Andreas-Christoph Hofmann
Director Marketing: Laura Rathai
Head of Brand Strategy & Campaign: Andrea Razeto
Brand & Product Campaigns Team Lead: Hyang A Kim
Marketing and N Brand Lead: Bastien Saunier

Agency: Innocean Berlin
European Chief Creative Officer: Gabriel Mattar
Executive Creative Director: Ricardo Wolff
Creative Director: Sebastian Pattis
Creative Director: Jose Suaid
Art Director: Changkyu Ku
Copywriter: Divya Mirlay

Chief Operating Officer: Alessia Belline
Business Director: Björn Wilke / Sebastian Sährig
Project Lead: Michael Dunker
Account Director: Anna Moskalenko
Junior Digital Account Manager: Ismail Cobanoglu

Head of Production: Fabian Barz
Senior Producer: Michael Endres
Senior Producer: Hannes Andresen
Senior Producer: Markus Wetschewald

Strategy Director: Anna Nowak-Otto / Sophia Görner
Senior Strategist: Serena Merletti

Senior Media Manager: Maja Lah
Senior Media Manager: Karim Makarem

Havas, European Business Lead: Wolfgang Ruch

Film Production Company: UNIT 9 Films Ltd.
Managing Director: Adam Dolman
Executive Producer: Adrew Davis
Senior Producer: Harry Starkey-Midha
Production Manager: Daisy Heathwood
Senior Producer: Manuela Mesrie

Neuroscientist: Shani Tal
Hardware Engineer: Hugh Boys
Director: Simon Reichel
DoP: Tom Elliot
Offline: Benedikt Strick
Music / Soundmix / SFX: Chris Banks

Postproduction Company: okay studios
Executive Producer Color: Franky Chadwick

Postproduction Company: TobyundTron
Executive Producer Postproduction: Steffen Tron

Service Production: northern location
Line Producer: Eirik Vaage


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