After the debut of hamsters in car commercials (which tickled my fuzzy critter bone), KIA has turned up the heat on it's KIA Soul advertising. The new commercial clothes the naked hamsters in gangsta apparel (I have yet to decide if it's offensive) and a hip-hop(ish) tune. If you haven't seen it, check it out on Youtube here. Please note the green tracksuit and the Timberland boots. Can we say stereotype? Not even from today per se... It's like the early 2000's meshed with the 1990's rap. There's even a Wyclef Jean circa the Refugee years hamster. All in all, I think the commercial sucks. Hey, don't hate me until you read my side of the argument. I will happily here you out if you object, I know this is a sensitive topic.
Call me crazy but I think the previous Soul commercial is much better. (See the Youtube here) The metaphor with the hamsters spinning the wheel makes sense. They are all running in their little hamster wheels uniformly... And then here comes this Soul driven by a peppy hamster from Suburbia. It's a sort of "breaking the mold" metaphor. Sure, it's less flashy and catchy than the current commercial. But it seems to make more sense. (Plus it doesn't hurt that the song in that one didn't get stuck in my head for two weeks.)
Why? Because the current commercial is all over the place like a low budget rap video. First of all, half the hamsters are naked... Some are naked on the sidewalks, some are clothed. There's no rhyme or reason to who gets the privilege of covering their hamster no-no parts. The song is catchy, geared for the just out of high school set obviously and perhaps the early college set. The issue is, that set of young people have a 1 in 4 chance of being unemployed. So affording even a cheap car like the Kia Soul isn't going to happen easily. This commercial would have been wise to have gone slightly more appealing to the 25-30 set as well. The other HUGE beef I have with this commercial is the ridiculous comparison it makes. You can go with "this" always being a KIA or you can go with "that" being your choice between a toaster, dryer, or cardboard box. Okay... Even in metaphor land, I am drawing a bit of a blank here.
What does KIA want? Me to acknowledge driving a Soul is preferable to a cardboard box? Sure! It's definitely preferable! However, when choosing a mode of transportation, I doubt in my list of contenders is a dryer or a toaster and especially not a box. So when it comes to snuffing out the competition, the Nissan Cube and the Scion, I really don't feel like Kia's made a case for itself.
So score for Kia in that I can remember the commercial with ease and it's on my mind often. Sometimes in a really bad way in that I hate the song on it! Too bad that nothing about that commercial would make me ever want to purchase a Soul.
However, perhaps the marketing team for the Soul should hit up the Sorento marketing team. I am not even in the market for a Sorento but this commercial made me want to buy one.
*FYI - I am 26, somewhat KIA's target demographic and currently in the market for a car. So yeah, I am totally relevant.