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Pop Culture Clips: Kia Channels Lady Gaga, RuPaul Drives

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It's Friday, it's August, and it's National Duck Out For A Drink Day. Add those three facts together, carry the one, and you'll discover that most of your co-workers have already checked out for the weekend.

We're right behind them. But before we mosey into the mid-afternoon sunset, here are two car-related clips for your weekend consideration:

ITEM #1: Kia Soul commercial featuring Lady Gaga's single, "Applause" (embedded above)

The fact that Kia has released a new commercial for the Soul isn't particularly interesting. Nor is the fact that said commercial features the same digital hamsters that have become synonymous with the Soul brand.

No, what's interesting is that the Kia Soul commercial is backed by "Applause", a brand new single from pop star Lady Gaga -- a single that was released just two weeks ago, and might've been released even later if it hadn't leaked to the internet ahead of schedule. (Critical reviews of the song and the accompanying video have been...mixed.) 

That suggests that either (a) Kia's production team picked up the single very late in the game, after its release, or (b) they've been working with Lady Gaga all along and rushed the clip onto the airwaves to coincide with the song's debut. Both of those scenarios seems weird for a number of reasons, but most importantly:

1. Major music artists are usually reluctant to place their music in advertisements. (Probably for the same reason that A-list movie stars avoid doing ads in the U.S.: it cheapens the brand.) With one major exception, we haven't really heard Lady Gaga's music in commercials. Does this mean the pop star's catalog is open for business?

2. In previous ads for the Soul, Kia used tunes by LMFAO and Black Sheep, which are very bro-friendly. Lady Gaga? Not so much. Is this a shift in marketing strategy? Is Kia's marketing team targeting Little Monsters now? Or is it just a coincidence?

ITEM #2: RuPaul Drives (FYI, some language may be NSFW)

You're familiar with Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, right -- the video series where Jerry Seinfeld picks up one of his fellow comedians in a snazzy vintage ride, then they go for coffee and shoot the breeze? 

This is not that. In fact, it's pretty much the opposite of that.

Well, except for the vintage car. Ru's got that covered.

And also, he's funny. Not Seinfeld funny, but RuPaul funny, which are distantly related cousins by marriage.

But other than those two things, it's the opposite. As you might guess, it stars RuPaul -- out of drag -- motoring around Los Angeles in a great-looking Volvo sedan. And instead of Seinfeld's roster of comedians, Ru interviews pop culture peeps, including well-known celebrities like Henry Rollins and lesser-known "celebrities" like Courtney Stodden. The series' first guest is Tyler Oakley, an activist and YouTube sensation.

RuPaul Drives was launched by World of Wonder, the company founded by Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey that produces TV shows (e.g. RuPaul's Drag Race) and feature films (e.g. The Eyes of Tammy Faye). Given Ru's quick wit, his roster of interviewees, and his great red Volvo, it should make for some pretty interesting views. 

[h/t Marty Padgett]

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