Hyundai’s ‘Message to Space’ video: masterpiece or brilliant illusion?

The car maker’s video shows how the brand helped a young girl send a message to her astronaut father, but some people believe the video was staged.

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Has there ever been a more emotionally touching, cosmically enchanting car ad than Hyundai’s epic four-minute “Message to Space,” which has now racked up a staggering 58.9 million views on YouTube? “Message to Space,” created by agency Innocean Worldwide, depicts how Hyundai worked with a 13-year-old girl, Stephanie Virts of Houston, daughter of NASA astronaut Terry Virts, to send a message to her father as he circles the Earth in the International Space Station. Her message ‘Steph Loves You,’ inscribed in giant letters across 2.1 square miles of the floor of Nevada’s Delamar Dry Lake by the tires of 11 Hyundai Genesis vehicles, was easily visible to her father in space.

Here’s the Hyundai ‘Message to Space’ spot in all of its glory, along with a “behind-the-scenes, making of” video:

But what if parts—significant parts—of this breathtaking video story were staged? What if the father-daughter interaction of Hyundai’s “Message to Space” video wasn’t quite what it seems?

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