09/14/22 ID: 19374
  • Kia America recognized for marketing innovation, including brand integrations, use of emerging technologies and impactful CSR partnerships 
  • Adweek Brand Genius Awards honor the most groundbreaking, dynamic and results-oriented brand builders

NEW YORK, NY, September 14, 2022 – Adweek announced the recipients of its 2022 “Brand Genius Awards,” including Kia America’s vice president, marketing, Russell Wager. Wager and the Kia America marketing organization were recognized for implementing high profile marketing partnerships with the Television Academy/EMMY Awards, activations with national network shows including “America’s Got Talent,” raising Kia’s profile through expanded CSR initiatives, and utilization of new and emerging technologies including NFTs in creative campaigns for the Super Bowl as well as new model launches.

“It is a privilege and an honor to be included among the class of 2022 Adweek Brand Genius Award recipients,” said Wager. “This honor is one for which I am not solely responsible. I share this award with the talented team of Kia America professionals and innovative and creative agency partners we work with side-by-side each and every day.”

Under Wager’s leadership in the last year, Kia has implemented a variety of new and innovative marketing strategies as well as revisited tried-and-true marketing tactics including the development of NFTs for the brand’s 13th Super Bowl campaign. One of the more high-profile programs was the EV6 Robo Dog Super Bowl Campaign, which included a partnership with The Petfinder Foundation to shine a light on shelter animals seeking adoption and was implemented under Kia’s “Accelerate The Good” CSR program. Kia launched a special Robo Dog NFT collection featuring six unique Robo Dogs that were auctioned off, and a generative collection of 2,022 Robo Dogs for sale with proceeds benefiting the Petfinder Foundation – raising almost $100,000 to date. The spot included a QR code that when downloaded by consumers allowed them to bring Robo Dog into their homes virtually and interact with the virtual pet so they could imagine what having a dog in their home would be like. From there, they were taken to a listing of local animal shelters where they could adopt an animal in need of its forever home. Kia’s partnership with The Petfinder Foundation included a monetary donation that enabled The Petfinder Foundation to find forever homes for more than 17,000 shelter animals in need.

Kia also partnered with network properties including the EMMY Awards and America’s Got Talent for innovative brand integrations during those broadcasts. In addition, the brand continued its focus on CSR campaigns under the brand’s “Accelerate The Good” charitable initiatives including partnerships with Sea Turtle Inc., and One Warm Coat.

Kia America recently set a record overall August sales result, increased its overall competitive automotive market share to 10.5%, and expanded sales of the brand’s hybrid and electric models by more than 151-percent. Sales of Kia’s popular SUVs, including Telluride, Sportage and Sorento have increased by 18-, 59- and 114-percent, respectively, year-over-year.

Kia America – about us

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia America continues to top automotive quality surveys and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands. Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and offers a range of gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electrified vehicles sold through a network of over 750 dealers in the U.S., including several cars and SUVs proudly assembled in America.*

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