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Marty’s Marketing Minutia

Hamsters, hucksters and holidays.

by on May.28, 2010

Kia Responds to Public Demand: Soul’s Hamsters Return

The hip-hop Kia hamsters are making their return.

Those hip-hop hamsters are back.  But we’ll get to the news in a moment.

People either like or dislike television commercials. There’s no such a thing as just okay, all right or average.  Black or white, nothing gray.

The first Kia Soul commercial, (Click Here) became a hit with consumers, said Michael Sprague, the Korean maker’s vice president of marketing, in a phone interview, “It generated over three million total YouTube hits and garnered more Facebook fans than any of its segment competitors.”

I followed up with the question “Is a social network hit equal to the Washington politico saying that every phone, call, letter or email is tantamount to receiving 1,000 calls?”  Sprague’s response was, “Yes!”  Now that’s big time.

The advertising research and creative communities liked it too. It has won major accolades for Kia, whose  advertising agency, David&Goliath, created the first commercial.  Among the kudos: Nielsen’s Top Automotive Ad of the Year, awarded at the 2010 New York Auto Show, and based on direct feedback from consumers. Next month Kia will receive a prestigious Effie Award. High praise indeed.

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Praise however is measured in terms of sales, right?  Sprague noted Kia introduced the Soul, their first car truly aimed at GenY during the worst auto year in history, with an economy in the ceramic receptacle, yet the Soul became the market share leader in its segment in only its second month on sale, and sold more cars than its two chief competitors every month thereafter. The campaign exceeded internal sales goals by over 30%.” Enuf said.

As a former ad guy I had to find out more ‘cause I knew presenting much less selling an idea like this had to be easier said than done.