Kia has launched the fourth addition to its popular marketing campaign of animated hamsters for the Soul. In the TV spots, the hatchback was driven by hamsters in hip-hop gear. Kia launched the Soul’s marketing in 2009. According to Michael Sprague, Kia's exec VP-marketing and communications, its sales have been higher by 78% since 2008 due partly to the campaign’s success.
Sprague made these statements at this week’s Ad Age's Small Agency Conference. Furthermore, Kia is planning to release a new version of the Soul compact car in 2013. However, it has not been announced yet what countries it will be available in. The Soul is produced in Korea. Kia is the No. 2 model in the U.S. in terms of sales in the first half of 2012.
Sprague said that Kia is a brand that now aims to be a challenger. It said that the Soul has become very successful due partly to its agencies and how it has become attractive to Gen Y, or millennials, its target demographic.
To target millenials, the company has built its campaign on four pillars of their lifestyles -- music, sports, pop culture, and "connected life," which includes a link to technology as well as close ties to friends and family. Sprague said that Kia aims to transform the hamsters into icons. To accomplish that, it aimed to connect the giant rodents to "music, fashion and pop culture." When it comes to music, the marketer used the song "This or That" by hip-hop duo Black Sheep in one of the spots.