IRVINE, Calif., June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kia Motors' rapping and dancing hamsters earned the company one of the most prestigious advertising awards yesterday when the "This or That" campaign for the brand's funky Soul urban passenger vehicle received the Gold Effie award in the "David v. Goliath" category at the 2011 North American Effie Awards ceremony in New York. The annual Effie Awards (short for effective) presented by Effie Worldwide, Inc., highlights the most effective marketing communications efforts in the U.S. each year, and the "David v. Goliath" category recognizes smaller, new or emerging brands that challenge category leaders. The Kia Soul marketing initiative earned the Gold Effie after taking home a Silver Effie in 2010.
Together, the Soul's popular "This or That" and the original "A New Way To Roll" campaigns contributed to significant increases in consumer awareness, perception and consideration of the Kia brand, and led to record sales of the urban passenger vehicle. In March, the Soul became the second Kia vehicle to sell more than 10,000 units in a single month, and after recording its best-ever monthly sales in May the Soul's year-to-date sales are up 50.8 percent.
"The segment-busting Soul was the first vehicle introduced under Kia's design-led transformation and was conceived to stand out in a sea of sameness with its refreshing design, outstanding functionality, variety of personalization options and tremendous value," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "The 'This or That' campaign embodied the spirit of the Soul in a highly engaging way that really resonated with consumers and marketers alike – as evidenced by our second consecutive Effie award."
Created by KMA's advertising agency of record, David&Goliath, the second chapter in the story of Kia's music-loving hamsters played out in the "This or That" campaign, using engaging music and the ever-popular hamsters to poke fun at boring, uninspired vehicles in the category through various multi-platform engagements, including: TV spots, print and billboard ads, video games, a dedicated website with downloadable music tracks and a traveling music festival featuring free concerts. In the 60-second "This or That" spot, hip hop hamsters cruise through city streets, cleverly comparing "This" – the funky and uniquely styled Alien Green Soul – to "That" – a number of mundane boxy rides - represented by toasters, washing machines and cardboard boxes. The spot debuted in movie theaters in late-May 2010 as an extension of the first Soul ad featuring the hamsters and later aired on television.
In addition to the back-to-back Effie awards, the Soul spots have been named "Automotive Ad of the Year" for two consecutive years by The Nielsen Company.
Available in four trims for 2011, Soul, Soul+, Soul! (exclaim) and Soul sport, the five-door hatchback offers an attractive starting price below $14,000(1) as well as unique and utilitarian style. Designed with the young and young-at-heart in mind, Soul presents distinctive style, value and function with a relatively small footprint and surprisingly spacious interior. Passengers will find comfort in Soul's roomy cabin, usefulness from Soul's efficient cargo carrier with 14 storage zones and will benefit from numerous standard convenience features, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system outfitted with SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio capabilities (including a three month complimentary subscription)(2), and USB and auxiliary input jacks in the center console with full iPod®(3) and MP3 controllability via the audio head unit and steering wheel controls (achieved with an optional Kia accessory cable).
In 2012, Soul also will receive Kia's first in-car hands-free communication and entertainment system, UVO powered by Microsoft®(4), which will allow drivers to safely and efficiently interact with the in-vehicle technologies while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Under the hood, the 2012 Soul will receive more power and improved fuel economy from two all-new powertrains while enhancements to the front and rear fascia, addition of LED lighting, and new wheel designs will make Kia's urban passenger vehicle an even more compelling proposition.
Soul offers an immense amount of style and value on top of an extensive list of standard safety features sure to appeal to all consumers looking for a well-equipped vehicle suited to their personalities, including front seat active headrests, dual front advanced airbags, front seat-mounted and full-length side curtain airbags, an Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist System (BAS) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Front and rear crumple zones, side-impact door beams, an impact-absorbing steering column and Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system also come standard.
2011 Kia Motors America Product Line
Kia's model year 2011 vehicle line includes the Sorento CUV, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio sub-compact sedan, Rio5 sub-compact hatchback and Sedona minivan.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 730 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." In 2010, KMA recorded its best-ever U.S. sales and 16th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technologies.
(1) Price is manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for base model, excludes destination and handling charges of $695, taxes, title and license fees, additional options and retailer charges. Actual prices set by retailer.
(2) Sirius services require subscriptions, sold separately after 3-month trial included with vehicle purchase/lease. Subscriptions governed by SiriusXM Customer Agreement at siriusxm.com. If you decide to continue your Sirius service at the end of your complimentary trial, the plan you choose will automatically renew and bill at then-current rates until you call Sirius at 888-539-7474 to cancel. Sirius U.S. Satellite service available only to those at least 18 years of age in the 48 contiguous United States, D.C. and PR. Go to www.siriusxm.com/traffic for available coverage. © 2011 SiriusXM Radio Inc. Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of SiriusXM Radio Inc.
(3) Optional Kia accessory cable required for iPod® mobile digital device connectivity. Cable and iPod® sold separately. iPod® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.
(4) Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
SOURCE Kia Motors America