- Baby Kia causes havoc in American hospital
- New model has 150kW on tap with turbo engine
- Kia continues consecutive years of hamster videos
IRVINE, California – Every year for the past eight years (from 2017) the Kia Soul and a trio of paw-tapping, music-loving hamsters have stood apart from the competition and captured imaginations through their advertising.
So how did Kia go about improving an icon? By turbocharging it! And we’re waiting to see if the car will reach South Africa… and the answer, at least for now, is no. Pity.
LATEST VIDEO CALLED ‘THE ARRIVAL’
Meanwhile, Kia has upped the ante on its funky crossover in the US with a 150kW engine and this has spawned the latest instalment of Kia’s award-winning ad campaign that involves fun-loving furry hamsters.
The latest ad feature is titled “The Arrival” and starts in a hospital maternity ward where a nurse happens upon an empty bassinet.
Newborn Baby Turbo Hamster has disappeared. Oh no…!!!
The nurse, bursting out into the hospital corridor in panic, is joined by other staff members in a futile attempt to catch the nimble newborn and to minimise the chaos his bid for freedom leaves behind.
Emerging on to the hospital’s roof helipad, the youngster takes a dramatic leap off the building with a make-shift parachute to float to the street below where a real Turbo Soul is waiting to make good his getway.
A Kia media release told Carman’s Corner: “Turbocharging gives buyers a new and more powerful way to experience one of Kia’s most popular vehicles. We’re announcing its arrival by infusing our iconic hamster campaign with newfound speed and assertive style.”
A Kia marketing communications spokesperson for Kia Motors America added: “The Kia Soul has never had any trouble standing out from the crowd, and with Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ as the soundtrack, ‘The Arrival’ delivers hard-charging swagger and a healthy dose of mischief and chaos.”
The video was created by David&Goliath, Kia’s advertising agency of record and will debut online and at more than 25 000 cinemas across America. There are 90, 60, 30 and 15-second versions for various markets.
A pop-culture phenomenon since bursting onto the scene in 2009, Kia’s hip posse of hamsters has always stood out from the crowd and brought people together through music, dance and positivity. Previously, the hamsters used popular songs ranging from Black Sheep’s classic hip-hop track “The Choice Is Yours” and LMFAO’s smash hit “Party Rock Anthem” to Maroon 5’s “Animal” and Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” to spread the word that the Kia Soul offers “a new way to roll”.
Most recently, a universal take on the classic riff “Dueling Banjos” was created for 2016’s “Soul Jam,” which incorporated more than 20 different musical instruments. Over the years the hamsters have become advertising icons with the 2011 video generating more than 20-million online views alone.
In addition, the hamsters were recognised by the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame and named the first-ever “Rookie of the Year” after being chosen the “Automotive Ad of the Year” for two consecutive years by Nielsen Automotive.
The 2017 Kia Soul is available (watch the video above) in the US in three trim levels, Base with manual or automatic six-speed transmission, Soul Plus with a six-speed auto, and the new 150kW turbocharged Exclaim!.
Prices start at $16 100 in the US (about R201 250, June 2017) . Options include a 20cm scrolling capacitive touchscreen, diode mood/music lighting and a sunroof.
For the third consecutive year in the US the Soul was the highest ranked compact multi-purpose vehicle in initial quality by J.D. Power and the highest-ranked brand overall in initial quality overall for the second consecutive year.