Kia scored a big hit last year with its hamster-themed marketing for the youth-oriented Soul -- a hit so big that the Korean automaker chose to bring it back for another round this summer. But now, Kia is putting that campaign aside for a minute, and it's turning the camera on you. Yes, Kia is sponsoring a nationwide talent search to see how its fans roll.
The gist of the contest is pretty simple: beginning today, Kia fans can visit the automaker's YouTube channel or Facebook page to upload videos of themselves doing their shtick. Of course, it's not an absolute free-for all: submissions should center around the Kia Soul, and they should attempt to incorporate the Soul's tagline, "a new way to roll".
Videos can be uploaded through August 8, after which three YouTube web-lebrities will whittle down the field to eight quarter-finalists. The public will then have its chance to vote, paring those eight down to four semi-finalists and then, two finalists. Those lucky folks will be flown to Los Angeles, where the ultimate winner will be revealed and handed an oversized novelty check for $10,000.
Before entering, we suggest you take a nice, long look at the contest rules and regs page. You should probably also have a gander at this video, which gives an idea of what's in store. Note to people over 30: this may be more than you bargained for.
And if you'd like still more information, we've pasted the press release from Kia below. Good luck!
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Kia Motors America Announces YouTube Talent Search
- $10,000 Grand Prize for the Best Video Themed Around the Soul Urban Passenger Vehicle
- SMOSH comedy duo, along with other YouTube celebrity judges ShayCarl and Lisa Nova, will use popularity to increase contest awareness
- Soul's unique style, numerous technology features and funky vibe offer inspiration for video submissions
IRVINE, Calif., July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Kia Motors America (KMA) is once again venturing into the realm of social media with the launch of Kia's first-ever "Who's Next?" talent contest in search of the next big Internet star. Starting today, users will be invited to show "how they roll" through creative and appealing videos themed around the Kia Soul urban passenger vehicle and its popular tagline "a new way to roll." The contest will run through the end of September with the top two finalists flown to Los Angeles for the announcement of the grand prize winner, who will receive a $10,000 prize.
"The Kia Soul has attracted a new audience to the Kia brand and engaging these fans through the 'Who's Next?' contest gives them the opportunity to have fun with the Soul's playful personality," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "Social media is an important part of the marketing strategy for Soul and engaging passionate enthusiasts in this space creates additional opportunities to build buzz through a new, interactive experience."
The top eight submissions will be chosen by three YouTube celebrity judges, including SMOSH, ShayCarl and Lisa Nova, which then will be entered into a three-round voting process and chosen by viewers. The "Who's Next?" videos will incorporate Soul's unique personality and features, including technology, style and popular music. All videos will be accessible through the Kia Soul YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/kiasoul) and promoted directly by YouTube comedy duo SMOSH, ShayCarl, and Lisa Nova whose channels have more than 640 million video views combined and 2.62 million subscribers collectively. Judging will begin August 9 and fan voting will begin on August 20.
Soul stands out from the crowd with modern, unique styling aimed toward the young and young-at-heart and offers a unique combination of style, value and personalization options. An available Audio Upgrade Package includes speaker lights that can pulse to the beat of the music or add mood lighting to the interior cabin, enhancing the overall personal lounge feeling. The Soul+ offers funky black cloth seats with "glowing" Soul logo inserts while the Soul! trim comes with a distinctive sand-black interior with houndstooth-patterned inserts, and the Soul sport presents a bold red-black interior trim with red-trimmed cloth seats and metal-finish interior accents.
Kia Motors is in the midst of a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments at exactly the right time, contributing to the brand's continued gains in U.S. market share. With three new vehicle introductions and several other key initiatives planned for 2010, Kia is poised to continue its momentum and build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and with new technology such as UVO powered by Microsoft®(1), an advanced hands-free in-car communication and entertainment system (expected to be available in select Kia models in the U.S. later this year).