Blake Griffin continues to be face of Kia Optima for 2015-16 NBA season

Article by Christian A., on October 30, 2015

Satire and comedy are about to come together with the new television commercial for the Kia Optima sedan. This is because NBA All-Star Blake Griffin has been tapped to be the face of four commercials for what is considered as the “official vehicle of the NBA.”

Griffin will be playing four different roles in the commercial series – as a chess player, as someone trying to make the perfect jelly-and-peanut-butter sandwich, as an ordinary person looking through a newspaper, and a weather forecaster reporting on an impressive basketball performance.

All throughout the commercials, Griffin will attempt to maintain a perfectly calm demeanor. The commercials, which will be posted also in digital and social media avenues, are set to be introduced during Kia’s NBA Tip-Off 2015.

Specifically, the commercials can be viewed on NBA programming and on cable TV channels. Kia will also seed the videos on its social and digital accounts, including its own website and the video streaming site Youtube.

Tim Chancey, KMA’s vice president for marketing communications, described Griffin as a force that had been instrumental in raising Kia’s status in America in the last few years.

He also considered Griffin as a great brand ambassador, and credits him for helping Kia become a recognizable brand of automobiles for basketball enthusiasts across the United States.

Griffin had first become involved with Kia’s North American marketing efforts after he carried out his iconic dunk, which involved him jumping over an Optima on the way to the basket, in 2011.

Since then, Griffin had become THE face of Kia’s national marketing campaigns, as well as the company’s advertising efforts through the Internet and social media. In the 2012-2013 season of the NBA, Griffin helped advertise Kia’s UVO voice-activated infotainment system1 for the Optima.

That particular commercial had Griffin addressing his younger self in the early 2000s and 1990s in a time-traveling musical journey aboard a Kia Optima. He also teamed up with comedian Jack McBrayer in the commercials for the 2013-2014 NBA season.

Griffin and McBayer teamed up for a hilarious series of crime-fighting commercials to save the world by saving one Kia Optima at a time. In the 2014-2015 season, Griffin once again appeared in action skits involving the Kia Optima as the mode of transportation.

The 2016 Kia Optima employs European styling and blends it in the midsize sedan’s premium interior design. It comes in three engines, one of which is a 1.6 liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. It is built entirely at Kia’s West Point, Georgia manufacturing plant.

Press Release


NBA All-Star Blake Griffin is back in a series of four new television commercials for Kia’s best-selling Optima midsize sedan, and he’s bringing his signature brand of satirical comedy with him. In the campaign, everyday people get in the zone for the first time while experiencing the next-level performance and sophistication of the all-new 2016 Optima – the Official Vehicle of the NBA – and find an eternally calm Griffin reading the newspaper, playing chess, making the ultimate peanut butter and jelly sandwich or acting as a weather forecaster in the midst of an impressive basketball performance. The multiplatform campaign, which includes television, digital and social media elements, debuts during Kia NBA Tip-Off 2015.

“Blake Griffin is a powerful force both on and off the court, and as a brand ambassador, he has helped raise Kia’s profile during our rapid transformation over the last few years,” said Tim Chaney, vice president of marketing communications, KMA. “Our partnership with Blake has played a significant role in Kia becoming the most recognized automotive brand among basketball fans across the country, and in this new campaign he’s back and better than ever with his distinctive deadpan humor.”

Created by David&Goliath, Kia’s advertising agency of record, the Griffin spots can be viewed on cable and network NBA programming and on all of Kia’s social and digital platforms, including and

Griffin Advertising Background

Blake Griffin’s comedic talents and deadpan delivery have made a connection with Optima buyers and basketball fans over several NBA seasons. Kia’s partnership with Griffin was born in 2011 following his famous dunk over an Optima to win the Slam Dunk contest. As a Kia brand ambassador, Griffin has helped grow the brand’s presence in both basketball and pop culture through national marketing campaigns, commercials and social media. During the 2012-13 NBA season, Kia’s ad campaign featured Griffin offering helpful suggestions to younger versions of himself as Kia’s available UVO voice-activated infotainment system1 took his futuristic Optima on a time-traveling musical journey through the mid-1990s and early 2000s. In the 2013-14 NBA season, Griffin and funnyman Jack McBrayer became a crime-fighting dynamic duo in “The Griffin Force,” trying to save the world one Kia Optima at a time. For the 2014-15 NBA season, Griffin was cast in the lead role for several big-budget action movies set in the Old West, ancient Rome and an aircraft carrier, each time replacing his scripted mode of transportation – be it horse, chariot or fighter jet – with a Kia Optima.

About the 2016 Kia Optima

The all-new 2016 Optima is passionately designed and obsessively crafted with European styling, a refined premium interior and significant ride and handling improvements. Kia’s best-selling nameplate challenges the midsize sedan segment with three engine choices, including a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s mated to a seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), making the Optima more confident on the road than ever before. The roomier, more luxurious cabin features an impressive level of craftsmanship that comes standard across five trim levels. The all-new Optima is built at Kia’s plant in West Point, Georgia.*

About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA proudly serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and set an all-time annual sales record in 2014, surpassing the 500,000 unit mark for the third consecutive year. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles, including the rear-drive K900** flagship sedan, Cadenza premium sedan, Sorento CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Soul Electric Vehicle***, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Optima Hybrid, the Forte compact sedan, Forte5 and Forte Koup, Rio and Rio 5-door subcompacts and the Sedona midsize multi-purpose vehicle, through a network of more than 765 dealers across the United States. Kia’s U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, builds the Optima* and Sorento* and is responsible for the creation of more than 15,000 plant and supplier jobs.

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Topics: kia, kia optima, sedan



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