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Version 2 of the Kia hamsters platform
Tags: ad, critique, kia, strategy
This is the second generation of the Kia hamsters ad. Like the first one it features adorable and hip hamsters in and out of a cool Kia vehicle. This one builds on the first in just about every way. All in all, as with the first spot, it is very entertaining, technically very well done, etc., etc., etc.
Here's my problem with this spot. First, while I think it probably does a bit better job making sure that people come away with Kia branding (probably because we now associate hamsters with at least the name Kia), IMO its still not really a Kia commercial. It seems that many agencies believe that the secret to great advertising is to create the most entertaining piece of micro-cinema possible - and then simply sprinkle in some product shots and a logo at the end. It's kind of like the NASCAR model. Folks come to watch the cars go round and round, and hopefully notice the logos on the cars. That works for NASCAR because their product is the racing. It's less effective for Kia because, by far, the most compelling thing about the ads is just about everything BUT the cars.
In fact, to my eye, the Kia vehicle presence in this spot seems more like a product placement. That might otherwise work if this wasn't a Kia ad in which Kia should be the absolute star of the show and the unique solution to the challenge/problem created in the spot! No such linear approach here, which is fine - but then that places even more pressure on effective branding and a demonstration of features and benefits - which this spot lacks.
I guess we're supposed to come away thinking that Kia is hip and cool and innovative and forward - no doubt by virtue of the fact that the hamsters are that, and they drive one. Honestly, its a bit too formulaic, and even contrived to me. Moreover, since there is such a lack of product information in the spot, it makes me wonder whether there's really anything to the vehicles beyond the fun exterior . . . and the trendy ignition button. </roll eyes>
Anyway, like the first Kia ad, this one is a very enjoyable and, again, entertaining commercial. To my eyes, though, it just doesn't work hard enough strategically to sell the brand or the product. The hamsters are great. The visuals are spectacular. Got it!
Maybe the third time will be the charm! :-)
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