Christopher Walken and his closet are featured Super Bowl 50 ad for 2016 Kia Optima

Article by Christian A., on February 10, 2016

Marking Kia’s 7th straight year commercial spot appearance in Super Bowl, KIA collaborated with Academy Award-winner Christopher Walken this year to introduce its next generation Optima, a standout in the midsize sedan category amidst the mostly unremarkable offerings from other companies.

The commercial playfully titled “Walken Closet” is scheduled to be shown during the fourth quarter of the games. It is considered to be the flagship of Kia’s marketing campaign across multiple platforms and will push the 2016 all-new Optima to the spotlight with its refined and sophisticated features, a sharp contrast to other cars in the same category that can best be described as dull and uninspired.

As everyone knows, there is no one quite like Christopher Walken, whose acting skills and breadth of roles across all movie categories easily make him one of the most recognizable actors globally. This makes Walken the perfect ambassador for the all-new 2016 Optima as they’re two of a kind. In the commercial, Walken reveals that for him, there are only two kinds of people in world – those who monotonously blend with everyone else and those who want more than just the ordinary.

For Walken, it’s the second group who are exciting to be around with, they simply have pizzazz – an obvious reference to both himself and the new 2016 Optima as well, whose features are unique in the midsize sedan segment. According to Michael Sprague, Chief Operating Officer and EVP of Kia Motors America, Walken was chosen for his unique cool factor and for his instant and universal recognizability, having spawned so many movies that audiences across all generations are bound to know him.

The high-profile Super Bowl sets the stage for Walken and Kia to show to the entire world that the new 2016 Optima will deliver unprecedented levels of performance and sophistication in a niche where rivals are content to blend with each other.

David&Goliath, KMA’s agency of record created the commercial and also manages Kia’s fully-integrated campaign which has already started before the Super Bowl and is set to continue even after the games have been concluded. The commercial has recently premiered on youtube and is touted as the first commercial and Kia the first brand to use the Mobile First influencer platform named Influential in collaboration with IBM Watson resulting to a greater digital engagement across multiple platforms.

Kia will now have access to a select cream of the crop social media influencers deemed relevant for the #AddPizzazz campaign due to this Influential-IBM Watson’s Personality Insights API synergy. Influential’s technology analyzes the social feeds of a particular influencer and can show Kia how it is perceived by the followers in that feed and the perceived compatibility between the brand and the follower’s personality.

With this technology in place, a greater engagement in the realm of digital media is achieved with the added benefit of having the ability to gauge to a much greater accuracy the effectiveness of Kia’s marketing efforts. Colorful Stance socks seen in the “Walken Closet” commercial were likewise given to the select 100 influencers to encourage them to share how they “add pizzazz” to their lives via their respective media channels.

Content from Kia’s Tumblr page may be shared amongst internet users and followers creating additional brand awareness. To top it all, Kia hired Niche, a social media talent agency as well as lifestyle apparel brand Stance to help identify additional social media influencers that Influential might have missed. Starting February 3, consumers may download a $25 Visa pre-paid card test drive voucher from Kia’s website This voucher may be redeemed by visiting a Kia dealership and test driving the 2016 Optima.

Press Release


There’s no one quite like Christopher Walken – he is an original.

And in Kia Motors America’s (KMA) 2016 Super Bowl commercial, the Academy Award-winner employs a colorfully stylish sock to demonstrate how the next generation Optima stands out in the midsize sedan segment filled with entries that look and drive the same.

Premiering today on – and set to air in the fourth quarter of the big game – “Walken Closet” is the centerpiece of Kia’s multiplatform campaign spotlighting the all-new 2016 Optima as the vibrant alternative for those searching for more in a vehicle segment whose hallmarks are basic, boring and uninspired. As Walken explains in the spot, “There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who are content to blend in … then there are those who expect more. They’re exciting. They have pizzazz.”

“No one is cooler or as instantly recognizable as Christopher Walken, and on advertising’s biggest stage Kia is out to show the world the all-new Optima delivers a level of refinement and sophistication unlike anything else in the midsize segment,” said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and EVP, KMA.

Before and after the Super Bowl, the fully integrated campaign – created by David&Goliath, KMA’s advertising agency of record – brings the spirit of “Walken Closet” to life across multiple channels and breaks new ground in digital engagement, as Kia is the first brand to utilize a new technology solution from Influential, a Mobile First influencer platform, using IBM Watson to connect brands to some of the most highly engaged influencers on social media.

By tapping into IBM Watson’s Personality Insights API, Influential helped Kia select and activate the most relevant social media influencers for the #AddPizzazz campaign. Influential has gone beyond assessing typical metrics (like demographics and social reach) and is now able to analyze unstructured data pulled from an influencers’ social media feeds. This technology has enabled Kia to identify influencers based on previously hard-to-measure metrics – like how they are perceived by their followers and how well their specific personality fits the personality of the brand.

In the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, nearly 100 of these influencers received a pair of the colorful Stance socks featured in “Walken Closet” and were encouraged to share how they “add pizzazz” to their lives on their social media channels. The content was then pulled into Kia’s Tumblr page, allowing people to find, connect, create and share additional content. In addition to the individuals Influential identified by personality, social media talent agency, Niche, and lifestyle apparel brand, Stance, also helped identify and engage select influencers.

“2016 marks Kia’s seventh straight appearance in the Super Bowl, and each year our goal is to deliver something upbeat, fun and memorable that aligns with Kia’s forward-thinking vision,” said Sprague. “We are never afraid to challenge conventional thinking and go our own way, and our #AddPizzazz efforts are the latest example of what makes Kia, and the Optima, stand out.”

As part of the campaign, beginning on Wednesday, February 3, consumers can download a $25 Visa® pre-paid card test drive voucher at that is redeemable after eligible consumers visit a Kia dealership and complete a test drive of the all-new 2016 Optima1.

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