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MARKETING & BRANDING
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Kia Motors’ viral marketing campaign is ‘Bringing Down the House’

The Irvine-based automaker revisits its popular ‘hamster’ franchise to promote its ‘Soul’ vehicle

by Gabriel CortesPublished: September 04, 2012 09:30 AM

A new ad titled “Bringing Down the House,” features four computer-animated hamsters promoting Irvine-based Kia’s Soul model. It is the fourth advertisement to feature the dancing hamsters that debuted on more than 18,000 movie screens on Aug. 31 as part of National CineMedia’s FirstLook pre-movie programming. The 60-second advertisement will make its television launch during the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 6. The company posted the video to its YouTube account on Aug. 30, where received more than 25,000 views, and it will be featured on Facebook and Kia.com.

The advertisement is the creation of the Los Angeles-based agency David&Goliath, which first introduced the anthropomorphic hamsters in 2009 in an ad titled “A New Way to Roll.” Nielson named that advertisement the best automotive ad of the year, and it has since spawned a series of popular promotions featuring the spokes-rodents.

In this episode, the hamsters descend on an 18th century opera house, replete with rococo décor and patrons donning powdered wigs. The hamsters, clad in modern urban fashions, quickly liven the event.  As a Kia Soul rises from beneath the stage, a laser light show and a break-dance routine ensue, all to the beat of the electronic song, ‘In My Mind,’ as remixed by Axwell, a member of the DJ group Swedish House Mafia.

“The Soul is designed for a new, youthful audience that wants to stand out from the crowd and that carries through to our marketing efforts, which emphasize creativity, optimism and fun,” says Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Kia Motors America.

Kia Motors, which is partly owned by the Hyundai Motor Group, is one of the fastest growing car manufacturers in the United States. In July, the company reported a 7 percent rise in sales during the second quarter. It also improved 17.8 percent during the first half of 2012 as compared to the same period of time during the previous year.


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