Hyundai Sonata ‘Smaht Pahk’ Beats Notorious Boston Parking in Super Bowl Ad

Hyundai is using its pricey Super Bowl ad time and a gang of celebrities with Boston  connections to demonstrate the redesigned 2020 Sonata’s Remote Smart Parking Assist feature in a city notorious for its traffic and tight “pahking.”

Related: 2020 Hyundai Sonata Review: Not Out of the Game

In the Sonata ad, Captain America Chris Evans (most recently in “Knives Out”) and “Saturday Night Live” alum Rachel Dratch watch a human driver fail to get his “caah” into a narrow head-in parking space. Then a new Sonata pulls up, driven by John Krasinski (“The Office” comedy star now buffed up as Amazon’s Jack Ryan action hero). He surprises them by getting out and using the key fob to command the car to pull in by itself. He then backs it out, again remotely. Former Red Sox baseball star David Ortiz leans out a nearby window and pronounces the Sonata “wicked smaht.”

The 60-second ad plays heavily on the celebrity presence and pokes gentle fun at Boston and its accent with its signature dropped R’s and stretched-out A’s. Evans, Krasinski and Dratch are  from the Boston area, and Dominican-American Ortiz, aka Big Papi, was coached in the accent by Dratch in this humorous teaser posted by Hyundai. Hyundai says it also dropped in some Boston “Easter eggs” for you to catch, such as a snippet of the 1960s song about Boston “Dirty Water” by the Standells.

But unlike in many Super Bowl car ads, the celebrities are supporting actors, while the car and its Smart Parking feature are the stars. The key aspect of the feature shown is that you do not need to be in the car (though you do have to line up the car with the space first).

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Besides the teaser and early ad release, Hyundai is working to build buzz around its Super Bowl ad buy (which is going for a reported $5.6 million per 30 seconds) with a social media campaign that also includes hosting two Boston-area comedians on Twitter during the game to converse with users and comment on the game and other ads.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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