KIA SOUL HAMSTER COMMERCIAL HONORED WITH 2010 SILVER EFFIE AWARD
06/09/10 | ID: 3706

Popular Kia Ad Campaign Resonated With Consumers and Recognized by Marketing Community

  • Kia urban passenger vehicle showcased by toe-tapping hamsters as “A New Way To Roll”
  • Four distinct and downloadable music tracks furthered ad’s youth market appeal

IRVINE, June 9, 2010 –Recently named Nielsen “Automotive Ad of the Year,” an accolade based on the effectiveness of an ad in terms of positive consumer recollection, the debut TV commercial for the uniquely styled and award-winning 2010 Kia Soul five-door urban passenger vehicle now has been honored with a 2010 Silver EFFIE Award. The EFFIE Awards (short for effective), given by the American Marketing Association, New York Chapter, recognize the most effective advertising efforts in the U.S. each year. The Kia Soul television ad won the EFFIE in the “David v. Goliath” category, which grants awards to smaller, new or emerging brands that challenge category leaders head-on.

“Designed to offer consumers a ‘new way to roll’ with a distinct style and a number of personalization options, Soul is aimed at the young and young-at-heart looking for a vehicle perfectly suited to their personalities,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing, Kia Motors America. “The hamsters’ immediate popularity helped position Soul as Kia’s halo vehicle and showcased the brand’s emerging signature design direction, which, along with quality, safety and value, has propelled Kia to tier-one status.”

Created by David&Goliath, the Soul ad depicts city and suburban streets inhabited exclusively by hamsters who mindlessly run in place inside their exercise wheels until a Molten Red Kia Soul pulls up to a stoplight and the passenger window rolls down to reveal a trio of paw-tapping, music-loving hamsters who have discovered “A New Way to Roll.”

Portraying Soul as a lounge on wheels with its highly specified audio system that includes speaker lights that pulse to the beat of the music, the hamsters bob their heads to four different music tracks that appear in slightly different versions of the spot to keep each viewing fresh. Viewers with a sharp eye can identify song and artist information on the hamsters’ iPod® screen, and the campaign extended online with each track available for download at www.kiasoul.com.

The EFFIE Awards, judged by experienced business leaders from around the world, are selected using a two-round evaluation process analyzing entries on a stand-alone basis and then comparing them against other finalists in their category. Entries are evaluated using criteria intended to determine a marketing case’s overall effectiveness and given four scores in different areas analyzing specific attributes of the campaign, including Strategic Challenge and Objectives, Overall Idea, Bringing the Idea to Life and Results.

In response to the immense popularity of the initial campaign, the hamsters have made an encore appearance in the new “This or That” campaign, also created by David&Golath. In this new chapter of the Kia Soul hamster story, the loveable creatures are shown driving through city streets to the tune of the hip-hop song “The Choice is Yours” by The Black Sheep, giving viewers the choice between “This,” the funky and uniquely styled Soul, or “That,” a number of boring and mundane appliances on wheels, cardboard boxes or hamster wheels. The new spot debuted on cable on May 26 and can be seen in theaters and online.

Soul offers an immense amount of style and value on top of an extensive list of standard safety features sure to appeal to all consumers looking for a well-equipped vehicle suited to their personalities, including front seat active headrests, dual front advanced airbags, front seat-mounted and full-length side curtain airbags, an Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist System (BAS) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Front and rear crumple zones, side-impact door beams, an impact-absorbing steering column and Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system also come standard.

Available in four trims, Soul, Soul+, Soul! (exclaim) and Soul sport, the five-door hatchback offers an attractive starting price below $14,0001 as well as unique and utilitarian style. Designed with the young and young-at-heart in mind, Soul presents an immense amount of style, value and function with a surprisingly spacious interior. Passengers will benefit from numerous standard convenience features, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system outfitted with SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities (including a three month complimentary subscription)2, and USB and auxiliary input jacks in the center console with full iPod3 and MP3 controllability via the audio head unit and steering wheel controls (achieved with an optional Kia accessory cable).

KMA has released four special edition Souls – Denim, Ignition, Shadow Dragon and most recently Ghost – based on the Soul+ trim. Offering consumers even more ways to personalize the Soul, each special edition comes with its own unique exterior color and packaging.

Kia Motors America in 2010
Kia Motors is in the midst of a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments at exactly the right time, contributing to the brand’s continued gains in U.S. market share. With four new vehicle introductions and several other key initiatives planned for 2010, Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and with new technology such as UVO powered by Microsoft®4 infotainment system (expected to be available in select Kia models in the U.S. later this year). The launch of the 2011 Sorento CUV, the official vehicle of the NBA and the first vehicle to be assembled5 at Kia’s first U.S.-based manufacturing facilities in West Point, Georgia, further enhances the lineup, and is now in dealerships.

About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 670 dealers throughout the United States. For 2009, KMA recorded its 15th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share and recently achieved its best quarter of sales ever. Kia Motors subscribes to a philosophy of building high value, high quality, safe and dynamic vehicles. Kia Motors prides itself on producing vehicles that are exciting and enabling and evoke the Kia tagline “The Power to Surprise.”

Kia Motors America is the “Official Automotive Partner of the NBA.”  Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its Web site – www.kia.com.  For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.

1 Price is manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $13,300 for base model, excludes destination and handling charges of $695, taxes, title and license fees, additional options and retailer charges. Actual prices set by retailer.
2 SIRIUS, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. and its subsidiaries. SIRIUS Radio requires a subscription, sold separately after 3-month trial subscription included with vehicle purchase. Prices and programming are provided by SIRIUS and are subject to change. Subscriptions governed by SIRIUS Terms & Conditions available at sirius.com. SIRIUS Radio U.S. service available only to those at least 18 years of age in the 48 contiguous United States, D.C., and Puerto Rico (with coverage limitations).
3 Optional Kia accessory cable required for iPod® mobile digital device connectivity. Cable and iPod® sold separately. iPod® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc
4 Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
5 Kia vehicles assembled at the Kia U.S. plant are assembled in the U.S. with U.S. and globally sourced parts.

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Media Contacts
James Hope
National Manager, Product Communications
phone: (949) 468-1875
mobile: (949) 943-0826
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