Kia hit the reset button on Super Bowl Sunday. Gone are the big stars، wacky storylines and dancing hamsters. Instead، the Korean brand pointed the nation's attention 81 miles southwest of Atlanta، where the big game was played، to a "small Georgia town of complete unknowns" who assemble the burly three-row Telluride crossover that goes on sale this year.
Kia's 90-second spot، which was to air in the third quarter، is both an invitation to buyers who've never considered the brand and a rallying cry for the workers who've helped catapult the company to where it is today، said Saad Chehab، vice president of marketing communications for Kia Motors America.
Kia is proud of "being the working-class brand for the working-class folks،" he said.
The Korean automaker، which opened its lone U.S. plant in 2010، breathed new life into West Point، the small town that had been ravaged by the loss of its textile mills. But the area now has a revitalized economic base thanks to Kia and the suppliers that followed، giving the descendants of the mill workers another industry to call their own — and a family hauler they can be proud to make.
Chehab has been down the inspirational path before، as a member of the Chrysler team in the wake of the Great Recession. The group developed the resonant "Born of Fire" spot from 2011's Super Bowl، a defiant testament to Detroit's manufacturing prowess that featured Eminem and the Selected of God choir.
The previous year، a Jeep Grand Cherokee spot called "The Things We Make، Make Us" paid tribute to "men and women for whom straight stitches and clean welds are a matter of personal pride."
Chehab is summoning that working-class strength again، this time in a place that he calls the heart of the industry's formidable presence in the South.
There was also a surprise component to the spot: The people featured in it didn't know they were going to appear in a Super Bowl ad until they were to have seen it Sunday night، he said. They knew they were being filmed for a documentary، Just a Small Georgia Town، but they didn't know that the footage would also be used for an advertisement that would cost more than $15 million to broadcast.
The ad's narrator is a West Point boy who is being raised by his grandparents. Wearing a cowboy hat، he plainly states that folks in his town aren't famous. There are no "stars in the sidewalk" for them، and they don't have statues built in their honor. "No، we are not famous،" he says. "But we are incredible. And we make incredible things."
Chehab characterizes the spot as a "one-on-one" dialogue with consumers that Kia has never had before.
It's a big change for Kia، a brand once known for hip-hop hamsters and low sticker prices. Recent Super Bowl spots have featured big stars doing crazy things: Melissa McCarthy struggling to be an eco-hero in a Kia Niro، Aerosmith's Steven Tyler racing backward to become young again، Christopher Walken likening the Optima sedan to "the world's most exciting pair of socks."
Those spots brought the brand some attention. edited by: rabea yehia