Kia Motors gears up blockbuster-like video ad to flaunt vehicles

Dive Brief:

  • Kia Motors released a new 13-part film called “The Features Film” on YouTube promoting eight of its vehicles, the company announced in a press release.
  • The video campaign aims to deliver blockbuster-style movie experiences in a year when most movie theaters around the country remain closed. Inspired by Hollywood noir thrillers, a young man mixed up with the wrong crowd becomes a getaway driver for the mob in the film. He uses eight “A-List Kia models” — Forte, Soul, Stinger, Niro EV, Niro HEV, Seltos, Sportage and Sorento — to break free.
  • The video series puts the Kia models in starring roles in the action and are divided into 13 15-second pre-roll ads that can also be viewed as a six-minute longform film or as a 30- and 60-second teasers. The effort was produced by Kia’s creative agency of record David&Goliath.

Dive Insight:

In a year when many Hollywood blockbusters are being held back and most movie theaters are closed, Kia took the route of creating a fun and entertaining blockbuster experience through its marketing.

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Rather than simply creating product-focused demonstration videos, the carmaker aims to stand out by sharing entertaining content that showcases the cars in an action-film setting. The spots debut as the car market is beginning to pick up again after plunging during the pandemic lockdowns in the spring. The U.S. motor vehicle market began to rev back up in May, particularly over Memorial Day weekend, per Statista.

Kia’s blockbuster approach is reminiscent of a recent campaign from British carmaker Jaguar, which tapped director William Bartlett, the creative force behind the opening credits for James Bond movies “Goldeneye,” “Tomorrow Never Dies” and “Spectre” to create live action and computer-generated scenes including racing alongside horses and launching off a ski jump. The creative strategy illustrates how brands that use more compelling storylines over product-centric spots may appeal to consumers, who are generally inundated with ads that look and feel alike.

Kia’s new ad also represents a return to a more normal video ad campaign for car selling, as many rival car brands including Ford and have relied on COVID-19 messaging in the pandemic’s earlier days. Consumers have grown tired of the sameness in coronavirus ads, Ace Metrix found, and companies may be returning to more mainstream advertising tactics to reach consumers looking for some normalcy.

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