How do you measure success? Is it popularity? How many Facebook fans you have? How many tweets you post? How much “product” you moved this quarter? How many loyal customers and conquest customers you measure?
Well, any of those will do just fine if you’re Kia because they seemed to have checked all the boxes if you are using these criteria.
Kia's lineup ranges from strong, such as the Kia Forte 5 and Koup, to really strong with the upcoming Rio, the Soul, Optima and Sportage. Yes, there are a couple of weak spots, like the aging Sedona. But these will all change for the better in no time. Kia has learned (like their cousins at Hyundai) how to make a good product, and do it quickly, and if you’ve read how their lean production process works, how to correct and improve existing ones very quickly.
So how does Kia further broadcast this success? Well, last year, they produced on of the best ads I can remember in some time, the Superbowl Dream ad. It was weird and wonderful and not run of mill. It oozed creativity from its list of unique characters to how it blended in the vehicles without shouting horsepower, power slides or technical specs.
Kia doesn't yet have the cachet and brand loyalty of a Honda, where it can speak about VTEC or a 9000-rpm redline. Reliability is still the domain of Nissan, Toyota and Mazda. Not to mention Hyundai now.
2012 Kia Sorento
So Kia is using the giant puppet figures for another joy ride dream to remind us that, in this case, the Sorento is still a car to consider when you’re not considering the bigger mainstream brands (although Kia is pretty mainstream now). The ad reuses the same characters, as well as the same idea of the weird road trip, however in this case the adrenaline is amped up to 11 with some crazy stunts and great surfing and sky-diving too.
While some may decry the “recycling” of the idea, and say the agency lacks any originality, I would disagree. Watch the ad and it’s difficult to take your eyes off these characters and the commercial itself. It uses great music (Those Darlins - "Red Light Love"), it never loses its pace or timing, the 2012 Sorento is ever present but not in obnoxious way. It all just works. Like the first ad. Furthermore, if the success spawned by the first ad back in 2010 is any indication, the Sorento was Kia’s most popular vehicle for 17 straight months in the USA, this continuation of the joy ride story should pile on the success even more.