Advertisement
Find a Car
Go!

Video: Kia Sells Its Soul With Hip Hop Hamsters

Follow Richard

Screencap from Kia's summer 2010 commercial for the Soul

Screencap from Kia's summer 2010 commercial for the Soul

Enlarge Photo
Kia 'Hamsters' commercial

Kia 'Hamsters' commercial

Enlarge Photo
The Kia Soul will be headed to the U.S. this year as a 2010 model

The Kia Soul will be headed to the U.S. this year as a 2010 model

Enlarge Photo

At the 2010 New York Auto Show, Neilsen handed Kia its top automotive advertising prize for last year's "New Way to Roll" ad, which featured some fairly hip hamsters cruising city streets in a bright red Kia Soul. Now, Kia is resuscitating those hamsters -- or their more urban, East Coast cousins -- for a new ad touting the Soul as a sweet summer ride.

The hamsters' return coincides with some downtime for Kia -- smack-dab in-between the recent winter/spring push for the new Sorento (featuring Nickelodeon's "Muno" and a questionable backing track) and the Sportage re-launch planned for August. The campaign includes a range of ads for a range of media, plus the now-standard microsite.

Apart from the simultaneously cutesy/cruel microsite game -- called "Escape from Hamsterdam" -- the "This or That" campaign is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First the ad itself is seriously good. As much as we may have cringed seeing the Chipettes performing "Single Ladies" in the recent Chipmunks trailer, Kia's dancing rodents look great. The animation is outstanding, the real-world integration is mostly spot-on, and if you take the time to go through the clip frame-by-frame (hey, we're obsessive like that), you'll see some amazing attention to detail. Take a good look at billboards, graffiti, marquees -- everything references the hamster world.

Second, the campaign has spawned a line of clothing. Well, technically it was spawned by last year's ads, when Kia began getting feedback from fans who wanted to develop merchandise based on the hamster characters. The "This or That" campaign clothes the hamsters (last year's were naked) and launches a website -- HamstarClothing.com -- where fans can soon buy outfits designed by pros and peers, featuring the hamster logo.

Our initial reticence about this whole hamster thing was not unlike the reaction we had to the Soul on first view, but Kia has done a great job of winning us over. Check the clip for yourself below, or, if that's not working, on YouTube:

[MediaPost, YouTube]

Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (3)
  1. So what's creepy about Muno?
    I'm not in the age demographic they are shooting for but I like the Soul and new Sorento ads. There's a certain funkiness about them that's tough to define and will be tough to imitate although I'm certain many others will try. I just hope Kia doesn't run them in the ground trying to constantly "top" the last one.
    I assure you they hit the mark with the teen daughters. I've been hounded about a Soul as car of choice for some time now.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  2. I'm 54 years old! I have found the hip hop hamsters too be very hip/funny/cute i went out and bought one and am very satisfied with the entire vehicle. For your money, insurance, MPG i think your money will be well spent, especially if the young ladies like it, it is a hip car.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  3. The Kia Soul and the advertising are brilliant. The urban life is being sold to suburban teenagers. However, marketing an multithousand dollar item, such as a car, is different than selling clothes. The parents have to be sold, and the smart money says sell to the parents with the less threatening hamsters, while selling to the kids by placing the hamsters in urban clothes and settings recognizable to the kids. The campaign actually advertises urban while ignoring the thug life, is in no way demeaning, and is in fact, brilliant.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement
Try My Showroom
Save cars, write notes, and comparison shop with hi-res photos.
Add your first car
Advertisement
Take Us With You!
   
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
Advertisement

More From High Gear Media


 
 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by Homestar, LLC. Send us feedback.