Melissa McCarthy stars in Kia’s Super Bowl ad for the Niro hybrid crossover [w/videos]

Article by Christian A., on February 4, 2017

Kia Motors’ campaign for the upcoming Super Bowl LI is turning out to be an epic one while sending the right message across its intended audience. And that is not just because Melissa McCarthy is in this particular spot.

As a comedian, McCarthy has been one of the many celebrities who really know how to make people laugh. Her role as the sweet and caring Molly in the six-season sitcom Mike & Molly was one of the defining moments of her career. In this particular ad for Kia, McCarthy remains as sweet and caring, but for the environment – a character made more obvious by the fact that she drives a 2018 Kia Niro hybrid crossover.

Titled as “Hero’s Journey,” this 60-second commercial ad shows the saga of McCarthy as an eco-warrior. While driving her Kia Niro, McCarthy is repeatedly called to take up an active role in several environment-related protests. The first task involved a cause for protecting endangered whales from scrupulous whalers. McCarthy and her team were able to successfully place orange banners – with “Protect the Whales” sign -- on a whaling ship. As she and her team were making the escape, a large whale suddenly surfaced and smacked McCarthy’s boat, sending her flying back to the whaling ship.

On the second task, McCarthy and her team went off to save some trees from being logged. They climbed up on some of the trees and hung a “Save the Trees” banner. Unfortunately for McCarthy, a logger felled the tree she was on, causing her to fall on a deep cliff as the tree crashed down. The third task involved saving the ice caps, and McCarthy responded accordingly to the call by going to an ice cap and planting a “Save the Ice Caps” sign. Again, a misfortune struck McCarthy as her action of planting the sign caused the ice cap to break, with her falling along with it. The fourth and last task involved saving some rhinoceros. However, a rhinoceros McCarthy was trying to protect attacked her instead.

All of these humorous actions were played to the tune of the “I Need a Hero” song interpreted by Bonnie Tyler. Well, McCarthy is indeed a hero considering her efforts to save the environment. However, the song also sounds like “I need a Niro,” referring to hybrid crossover’s eco-friendly character, practicality and go-anywhere capability. At the end, the narrator tells the audience that while it’s tough to be an eco-warrior, it is easy to drive like one.

This ad for the Kia Niro – created by ad agency David & Goliath – is becoming a sensation even before it gets played during the live broadcast of the Super Bowl LI, in the third quarter particularly. The Big Game is set to take place this Sunday, February 5, 2017.

Press Release

Multifaceted Campaign Introduces Consumers to the No Compromise Combination of Style, Utility and Hybrid Efficiency of Kia’s Newest Crossover

A breaching whale. A falling tree. A charging rhinoceros. These are just some of the extreme challenges Melissa McCarthy faces in Kia Motors’ Super Bowl ad for the all-new 2017 Niro crossover. Debuting online today, “Hero’s Journey” is scheduled to air in the third quarter of the big game and finds McCarthy – who is only “trying to help” – braving the open ocean, climbing high up into the treetops, and traveling in the Niro, the most fuel efficient crossover in America1.

With a hilarious and courageous leading lady who is ready, willing and able to pitch in and do her part for just about anything, “Hero’s Journey” is fantasy adventure at its finest and the centerpiece of a multifaceted campaign showcasing the all-new Niro as a no-compromise package combining driving enjoyment with eye-catching design, functional utility and record-setting fuel economy. Created by David&Goliath, KMA’s advertising agency of record, the spot will entertain across multiple platforms before and after the Super Bowl.

“For years, I’ve been trying to find the perfect project that combined the real threat of me breaking every bone in my body, with my desire to help save the environment. Thanks Kia!!! XOXO Love, Melissa,” said McCarthy.

As part of the spot’s rollout, Kia was the first advertiser to debut a Super Bowl commercial on Facebook Messenger. During the big game on Sunday, consumers engaging with the interactive NiroBot for Messenger will have the opportunity to win MPGs (“Melissa’s Precious Gear”), including more than 40 props and assorted items from the set of the commercial.

“People will go to great lengths to support the causes they are passionate about, and the Niro is a ‘smarter kind of crossover’ for those looking to go green without making sacrifices,” said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and EVP, Kia Motors America. “The Niro is like nothing consumers have seen before, and with an audience of over 100 million people tuning in, Melissa McCarthy is the perfect partner to tell the world about Kia’s uniquely alluring yet practical new crossover.”

A key component to Kia Motors’ Green Car Roadmap, the Niro strikes the perfect balance for today’s consumers and stakes claim to a unique position between the hybrid-electric vehicle and CUV segments. As part of Kia Motors EcoDynamics philosophy, the Niro represents an important next step on the path to nearly tripling the brand’s global green car line-up by 2020. A plug-in hybrid powertrain is due to be added to the car’s line-up later in its life-cycle.

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