Kia Motors Corp. has brought back its hamsters, along with their female counterparts. The Kia hamsters are being featured on the carmaker’s fully charged ad campaign for the Soul EV. The campaign also features Adam Levine’s falsetto on the new Maroon 5 track “Animals,” with Kia offering 200,000 free downloads of the song before its iTunes release.
According to Kia, the hamsters are “geek chic” in the spot, although their ladies are far from geeky. A surge of electricity supposedly bound for the Soul EV transforms a test hamster into somewhat a sexy woman with a hamster head.
The spot made its TV debut at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday. The Soul EV is the South Korean carmaker’s first mass-marketed electric vehicle, featuring an 81-kilowatt electric motor powered by a 27-kilowatt lithium ion polymer battery.
The Soul Ev boasts of being able to cruise 80 to 100 miles on a full single charge. Kia posted a 23-percent jump in sales of the Soul in the United States in the first seven months of 2014 to 89,708 units.
Kia logged a 7-percent rise in overall sales in the US in the same period, outpacing a market that has grown 5 percent.
The hamsters have been the mainstays of the music-filled advertisements for the Soul. These furry yet very adorable music-loving advertising icons have been starring on every commercial for the urban passenger vehicle – all set to different soundtracks like that of Black Sheep’s "The Choice Is Yours," LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" and Lady Gaga’s “Applause.”
With them supporting the soaring popularity of the Soul, the Kia brand as a whole is also benefiting from the increased awareness and consideration. Earlier ads were set against city and suburban street settings, in which the hamsters are the only inhabitants.
They love running in place inside their exercise wheels and comparing "This" – referring to the Kia Soul -- to "That" – referring to boring and dull appliances on wheels, cardboard boxes or hamster wheels. Their surge to popularity was highlighted by the "Share Some Soul" ad in 2011.
This campaign earned over 20 million views in YouTube, making it the third most-watched auto ad in the site’s history by the time. Later that year, the hamsters gained distinction as Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame’s first-ever "Rookie of the Year."
Colin Jeffery, chief creative officer at D&G, remarked that the over the past six years, the Kia Soul and the hamsters have evolved together. He noted that in 2013, the hamsters became sleek and sophisticated to match the transformation of the Soul.
He disclosed that for the new Soul EV campaign, the hamsters will be seen as smart beings -- reading books instead of going to the gym.