Rudd’s deal with the Korean automaker will last three years and already has begun with his vocals promoting the company’s 2015 Sonata sedan in a new spot, entitled “Co-Pilot.” Bridges was used up until this summer to hype the new redesigned vehicle.
Hyundai had to briefly muzzle Bridges in 2010 when the actor was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in “Crazy Heart.” At the time, Hyundai replaced General Motors as the Oscars’ official car sponsor, but found itself caught up in new rules by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ that prohibited nominees and presenters from appearing in ads that air during the show.
“We were looking for a voice that could be recognizable and relatable to a new generation of car buyers,” said Steve Shannon, VP of marketing, Hyundai Motor America, as it announced Rudd’s hire. “Rudd can be serious, humorous, informative and entertaining all at the same time.”
Rudd becomes the latest high-profile actor to land a lucrative car deal, after Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln tapped Matthew McConaughey in a much showier role.
Hyundai has hired Rudd as he’s in the midst of filming Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man,” out next summer, and could see his profile raised significantly with what Marvel and Disney hope will launch a new franchise after scoring with “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The Ant-Man characters fits into the Avengers universe, whose sequel also will be released in 2015.
Ironically, Bridges also has been featured in a Marvel movie, the first “Iron Man,” which bowed in 2008, a year after he started working with Hyundai.