Company: Kia Motors America
Ad Agency: David & Goliath
Product: 2012 Kia Sorento
Campaign: "Joyride II"
What We Like: It's getting pretty hard to stand out. Seriously... another crossover? Kia has established a signature sound, look and feel for its ads. This ad, in fact, is a sequel to a TV ad that ran last year, and scored well with consumers. And anyone who knows anything about advertising will tell you that establishing a recognizable ad signature is very important if a brand wants to have an ongoing dialogue with car shoppers. Agency David & Goliath has done a really nice job the last two years of creating a presence on the airwaves for Kia. The ads are silly, of course. But they are fun to watch, and give you the idea that this is a premium outfitted vehicle with a decent interior and all the connectivity you really need. Lots of brands struggle with what they want to say and be. Kia is not one of them.
What We Don't Like: It's guilty pleasure, like actually opening the link of the kitten video one of your friends posted on Facebook.
Strategy: Over here! Over here! Notice me! Pay attention! When I come on the screen, pause and watch. Don't get a soda, or go to the john! Kia's vehicles have come a long way. The Optima, for example, is a huge surprise and for our money is actually better fitted out than its Korean cousin – the Hyundai Sonata. Kia's problems are two-fold: It still lags in third party quality rankings from outfits like J.D. Power and Associates, and it is not getting enough serious consideration from people who have decent credit scores.
Seriously, why else would you turn to hamsters and stuffed animals in commercials? It's to be remembered, and liked, especially by female buyers. After these ads run, online searches for Kia go up, and that's exactly the point of the exercise.
Watch the commercial after the jump and give it your own grade below.