Kia hamsters coming back for a new marketing campaign

Article by Christian A., on July 31, 2012

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.

The interior of the Kia Soul is sure to surprise many consumers. With a total of 14 storage zones, the Kia Soul is indeed a very efficient cargo carrier. It can even act as your very own lounge on wheels. The amount of space available on the inside is truly surprising considering that the Soul uses a small footprint. Going back to the exterior, there is the beltline which begins on the wheel arch on the front and slowly goes up to form that wedge shape.

It then goes around and under the side window in the rear. Speaking of the rear section, the dominant feature is the combination lamps. Positioned vertically, the lamps have been placed on a panel having the same color as the body and has those clear outer lenses. The crease lines in the wheel arch and the body stretch across the bumper in the rear.

This gives the rear a strong, but not too rough, style that complements the front. Kia said that it will be offering a total of four trims which are the Soul, Soul+, Soul!, and the Soul Sport. It goes without saying that while this five-door model already has the needed versatility, it comes with a host of standard features. It has the bumpers in the same color as the body with the side mirrors and door handles in black.

The rear has a washer/wiper and the 15-inch wheels have been fitted with the P195/65R15 tires. Those features are for the standard Soul with the Soul+ addition in solar glass and keyless remote entry. This trim also includes a privacy glass for the rear section with the handles of the windows in the rear in body-color. Added as well are the power side mirrors and its alloy 16-inch wheels have the P205/55R16 tires fitted to them.

The Soul+ has the fog lights and the power moonroof. The alloy 18-inch wheels this time have the P225/45R18 tires. Finally the Sport trim has the side spoilers with a spoiler added in the rear section. The wheels are also the alloy 18-inch version. Further, the fascias on the front and the rear have been made more unique and this shows the urban and sporty look of the Soul.

Topics: kia, advertising

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