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Kia's Hamsters Scurry Off With Nielsen's Top Ad Award At The 2011 New York Auto Show

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Kia 'Hamsters' commercial

Kia 'Hamsters' commercial

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It's official: Americans love rodents. That rule may not apply so much to rats or nutria, but cuter critters like squirrels and chipmunks are tops with U.S. consumers. And at the pinnacle of the rodent pyramid, we find hamsters -- specifically, the road-trippin' hamsters featured in commercials for the Kia Soul.

At the 2011 New York Auto Show, research powerhouse Nielsen announced the winners of the 5th Annual Nielsen Automotive Ad of the Year Awards. And, for the second year in a row, Kia's hamsters scuttled off with top honors. All in all, Nielsen's five major awards went to:

  • Ad of the Year: Kia Soul
  • Best Green Ad: Ford Fiesta
  • Best Sales Event Ad: Ford ‘Swap Your Ride’
  • Luxury Campaign of the Year: Mercedes-Benz SLS ‘Triumphant’
  • Spanish TV Advertiser of the Year: Toyota

In making its decisions, Nielsen compiled response data from a whopping 2.5 million U.S. viewers, surveyed across 24 networks. Any ad that began running in the 2010 calendar year was eligible for consideration.

Kia first used its hamster emissaries in 2009 to launch the now-popular Soul MPV, in commercials featuring the Black Sheep's catchy 90s tune, "The Choice is Yours". Kia has kept the fuzzballs around for two years now, proving once again that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. We have to admit, we were dubious of the campaign at first, but it's grown on us, like mold on the cheese in a mousetrap. Still, we have to wonder: how much longer can Kia milk these tiny cows?

Here's a quick look at some of the winning videos:

Ad of the Year: Kia Soul

Best Green Ad: Ford Fiesta

Best Sales Event Ad: Ford ‘Swap Your Ride’

Luxury Campaign of the Year: Mercedes-Benz SLS ‘Triumphant’

Spanish TV Advertiser of the Year: Toyota

[Nielsen]

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