Last year, Kia Motors signed tennis superstar Rafael Nadal to be the automaker's celebrity face in Europe. Nadal, the # 2 player in the world behind the ridiculously good Roger Federer, is young and popular, and Kia's signing him seemed like a smart idea. So you'll understand if we're perplexed by the bizarre viral video Kia's come up with that uses Nadal's likeness to supposedly promote the brand.
Titled "Nadal vs. Alien", the web-only video is part of Kia's new marketing approach. In a post on the official Kia BUZZ blog that introduces the short, Global Online Marketing veep Jay Jungyub Yoo sets the table, noting that advertisers are focused on finding unique ways to get their messages out. It would seem that at Kia, "unique" is a synonym for "baffling" if the Nadal vs. Alien video is any indication. The only coherent message we're getting from it is that someone in the strategy meeting that spawned this concept clearly ate all the acid.
The claymation short begins innocuously enough, with Nadal playing tennis against an alien. Then the alien sprouts multiple arms, pummeling Nadal with tennis balls. Then (stay with me) a soccer ball hits our tennis hero, and the Alien becomes a giant goalkeeper. Nadal responds by doing a disco move and magically producing four miniature Nadal-pplegangers (think of the Heat Miser's minions from The Year Without a Santa Claus, only shaped like small, long-haired Spaniards). Then, after a little dance interlude (seriously), Nadal and the baby Nadals all start flying. And then it gets completely strange. The little Nadals change shape and the big Nadal shoves his hands and feet into them (uh, gross), forming what can only be described as a sort of organic Rafael Nadal Voltron. Nadaltron then slays the alien by kicking a soccer ball through its torso. Then our hero transforms, Autobot-style, into a Kia pro_cee'd and drives away. The end of Akira makes more sense than this.
Remember how Kia ousted Len Hunt and Ian Beavis over the supposedly unfunny soap-on-a-rope President's Day sale commercials? We can't wait to see what happens over this.
Follow the jump to see it all with your own eyes.
UPDATE: Looks like Kia's reconsidering this particular bit of marketing. The following update has been posted to the original BUZZ blog post:
- Notice -
Thank you to everyone for their feedback. Upon review of the comments, we have decided to remove the video for the time being as we believe there is some content that is not appropriate. We will consider reediting some of the content and reposting at a later date. In the mean time, here's a short version of the video for you.[Source: Kia BUZZ]