Kia Soul analysis
In 2010 Kia Motors released a commercial that took a unique approach to the typical automobile advertisement. The commercial used popular things like music, fashion, and technology to show that their car is better than all the rest. The commercial showcases many features that appeal to several different age groups. The commercial starts out with two hamsters walking out of a building to meet another hamster. They are all dressed in loose fit clothing, basketball jerseys, and sweatshirts. It jumps to a scene of city buildings and a street sign saying Hamsterdam one way. In the background there is music playing the song: “The Choice is yours” by the Black Sheep. One of the hamsters starts rapping the lyrics of the song in a music store like what you would see in a rap music video.
The three hamsters start walking and rapping through the city streets and pass a few hamster-wheels, with hamsters on them, not going anywhere. As they are walking along the streets they come across the Kia Soul. The hamster that was rapping continues to sing, as the songs chorus is saying, “You can deal with this or you can deal with that…” the rapping hamster points to the Kia Soul and then to some toaster passing by with other hamsters driving it. Then the hamsters get into the Soul and start driving it through the city streets. As the Soul rolls along, they pass by a barber shop with two lady hamsters standing outside of it. The lady hamsters stop and stare at the car, lowering their sunglasses to get a better look at the Soul and the hamsters driving it. They also pass by three hamsters playing basketball. Then the car stops at a car wash and two hamsters run by in a cardboard box in the shape of a car. As the hamsters start to drive again, you get a look at some of the interior of the car. The sleek black apulstery is shown along with red LED lights around the front speakers that pulse to the beat of the music. Then some edgy views of the Kia Soul are shown, highlighting the name and shape of the car. The two hamsters previously shown running around in a cardboard box; trip and the box collapses on top of them. The commercial ends by showing: “Soul a new way to roll”, “technology”, “thirty-one miles per gallon highway”, and “starting under $14k”.
The final screen says: “Kia Motors the Power to Surprise” and “kia.com”. So, why use a hamster instead a person? The hamsters symbolize the small world we live in. They are also known for having hamster-wheels, or as some people call them, “exercise-wheels”. When a hamster is using an exercise-wheel, they can’t get anywhere because they are just going in circles. In the commercial Kia uses the wheel to symbolize that other car industries are not going anywhere and that the Kia Soul is the new and improved way to go. Younger generations can also relate to this commercial because most of them had a hamster as a pet at some point in their lives. The target audience of this commercial is young adults to people in their mid 30’s. Kia targets this age by using hamsters dressed in clothes young adults would wear. The style appeals to the younger generations because they can relate to the time period unlike other commercials they see for other cars. Kia also targets the younger age groups by using music video setting, styles, and dance moves. Most people in their late teens and early 20’s listen to the style of music used in the commercial or watch music videos related to the genre. While younger generations find more interest in style, people in their mid 30’s are more concerned about the specific features of a car rather than how cool it looks.
Kia appeals to this generation by simply stating, at the end of the commercial, that the Soul gets thirty-one mile to the gallon and starts under fourteen thousand dollars. The music featured in the commercial has a way of appealing to both of these age groups. Kia uses a song from the early 90’s that is remixed to fit the style of 2010. By doing this, the music has a way of grabbing the attention of both age groups because they can both relate. The main message of this commercial is “Out with the old and in with the new”. Using symbols like hamster wheels, Kia makes a statement that every other car is the old and boring way to go. Using a cardboard box as another symbol for other cars, Kia makes a statement that other cars can’t match up to the Soul. The washing machine in the commercial is Kia’s way of saying that their car is more spacious than others. The last symbol Kia uses to resemble a car is a toaster. This symbol is used to say that other compact cars look silly compared to the soul.
Kia uses all these symbols to say that there are is simply better than the rest. In 2010 Kia Motors took a different approach to automobile commercials by using hamsters instead of people. Using this symbol in their commercial, it got the attention of young adults all the way to people in their mid 30’s. Using a specific genre and song in their commercial, Kia was able to grab the attention of younger people as well as older. The bold new look, low cost, and high gas mileage made the car affordable for young adults just starting out.
Using symbols such as toasters, washing machines, and hamster wheels made the commercial stand out from all the rest. With all these tools at the hands of the advertisement, Kia was able to make a statement: The Kia Soul is the new car on the block. You could go with the Soul or you could go with the other cars on the market. In the commercial, the Kia Soul is the obvious choice to make.