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Why is this work relevant for PR?

We encounter garbage trucks daily. Focusing on this, the Hydrogen Garbage Truck campaign transforms garbage trucks as a tangible medium for citizens to experience the benefits of hydrogen cars. With the Hydrogen Garbage Truck, people can directly experience the sustainability of smoke-free hydrogen cars which purify the air while running, unlike the previous diesel garbage trucks that severely threaten the health of the sanitation workers. The Hydrogen Garbage Truck is still operating to this day, faithfully delivering the Hyundai Motor Group’s message that hydrogen technology can better human lives to the public.


The hydrogen car is the most sustainable zero-emission vehicle on Earth. However, because most hydrogen cars are B2B commercial vehicles, consumers are unable to access hydrogen cars in their everyday lives. Naturally, consumers could not sympathize with the necessity and benefits of hydrogen cars. To address this problem, Hyundai Motor Group, the No.1 global hydrogen market shareholder, executed a special campaign where consumers can experience hydrogen cars daily. How? With garbage trucks!

Describe the creative idea

We encounter garbage trucks daily. The problem is that the smoke, heat, and noise of garbage trucks are severely damaging the health of sanitation workers. In particular, the exhaust was the cause of the high risk of lung cancer for sanitation workers.

Hydrogen Garbage Truck is zero-emission with minimal noise and heat emission, dramatically improving the work environment for sanitation workers. Particularly, the portable sink using water, the only by-product of the hydrogen car was the most necessary function for sanitation workers, who were unable to clean themselves during work.

By solving the chronic problem of garbage trucks with hydrogen car technology, consumers could experience the advantages of hydrogen cars in their daily lives. As a result, our campaign showed how effective hydrogen technology can be when it is used where it is most needed and how eco-friendly hydrogen technology can make our lives better.

Describe the PR strategy

Despite being the ultimate sustainable vehicle, purifying the air while running, consumers are unaware of hydrogen cars’ benefits. Most hydrogen cars are B2B, rare to find. Employing traditional media to promote the strengths of hydrogen cars would be outdated, and challenging for consumers to experience their advantages. Here’s a bold strategy: let’s make people encounter hydrogen cars daily! How? With garbage trucks.

But why garbage trucks? 90% of the garbage trucks use internal combustion engines, which threaten both the environment and sanitation workers’ health with gas, noise, and heat emission. If this problem is solved with hydrogen cars, wouldn’t their sustainable advantages be highlighted?

Consumers encounter loud, dirty, and dangerous garbage trucks daily. Resolving this with hydrogen technology, the Hydrogen Garbage Truck campaign’s strategy was to allow consumers to visibly experience the benefits of hydrogen cars and sincerely deliver Hyundai Motor Group’s message: hydrogen car technology can improve human lives.

Describe the PR execution

For our strategy to be accepted by the public, the most important focus in the campaign execution was authenticity. During the campaign preparation, through in-depth interviews with sanitation workers, we investigated the previous garbage trucks’ problems with internal combustion engines, and based on our result we developed the Hydrogen Garbage Truck, which doesn’t have to emit gas, noise, or heat that threaten the health of sanitation workers.

In particular, by utilizing water, the only product from hydrogen cars, we installed portable sinks on the garbage cars, more effectively conveying the Hydrogen Garbage Truck’s sustainable feat. The Hydrogen Garbage Trucks were manufactured based on the previous hydrogen trucks and were manufactured in one year. (Production period: 2019 January - 2021 December) The truck began operating on January 2021 and operates to this day. The campaign films were on-air for 2 months. (Media Execution period: December 30, 2021 - February 6, 2022)

List the results

1. Media Outputs

Coverage depth (quality/quantity)

1) On YouTube, the campaign generated: 150,121,968 impressions and 35,055,287 views, 48% of views coming from its main target of eco-friendly cars, 2544 global audiences who are highly interested in ESG programs.

2) Hyundai motor group’s owned media’s organic coverage reached 181,785,751 impressions, 43,812,328 views, and a total of 109,027 engagement (likes, share, comments)

3) Local media coverage reached 123 cases

- Tone and message delivery: generated 2,331 comments, 98% being positive mentions on Hydrogen vehicles

2. Business Outcomes


: Through the Hydrogen Garbage Truck, people were able to directly experience the benefits and necessity of eco-friendly energy in their daily lives. This also raised consumers’ consideration of purchasing sustainable cars.

In big data analysis of consumer comments on social media, positive responses to hydrogen cars increased by 18.14% after the campaign, and positive responses to hydrogen trucks increased by 23.56%

29.3% increase in sales rate of Hyundai’s hydrogen vehicle NEXO in Korea during the campaign (compared to the average monthly sales before the campaign) without any product launch campaigns.

3. Social Impacts So Far

After receiving stellar reviews, the Korean government announced plans to replace all garbage trucks sequentially with Hydrogen Garbage Trucks in the future. This is one of the biggest achievements of our campaign.

As a portable sink received great reviews from sanitation workers, Hyundai Motor Group announced to mass-produce the function as an option for hydrogen trucks. (Announcement in March 2022)

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