The 8 Best Kia Commercials Ever
Whether it’s “So easy to use a caveman could do it,” “Where’s the beef?” or “How many licks does it take to get to the center?”, certain TV ads are so good that they become part of the collective conscience the same way that a song like “Baby One More Time” or “She Loves You” can. While most people wouldn’t consider television advertisements to be works of art, a few of them have hit so well that they transcend the simple goal of communicating a product or brand.
With the average person seeing around 5,000 advertisements per day (according to marketing firm Yankelovich, Inc.), it’s more important than ever for advertisers to deliver something that’s better than just adequate.
More than any other automotive manufacturer, Kia has nailed this. From dancing hamsters to Formula 1 legends, Kia has consistently provided an entertaining and informative experience that defies simply showing you an overhead video of the car carving corners in a Californian canyon (say that three times fast).
Here are our favorite Kia television spots:
1. Various Years – Kia Soul Hamster Commercials
Perhaps the most well-known list item, the hamsters have become the unofficial mascot for the Kia Soul and Kia as a brand – embodying the personality and fun of the sports box crossover. How Kia’s ad agency came up with this idea, we may never know. Still, we love coming to Friendly Kia every day and knowing we’re going to be selling “the hamster car.”
2. 2008 Kia Sportage – Goths and Hillbillies
With Kia’s official slogan being “the power to surprise,” we have no doubt that the title of this video is a bit of a surprise. Perfectly capturing the spirit of the mid-2000s, Kia’s hillbillies and goths commercial sought to prove that everybody can get behind the freewheeling fun of the Kia Sportage and its rugged charm. It echoed the type of unification America needs now more than ever.
3. 2014 Kia Cadenza – Impossible to Ignore
We’ve spent a lot of time on this blog describing Kia as a “late bloomer” and the kind of vehicle that turned every head when it took of its glasses and let down its hair like the female lead in a Cameron Crowe film. This commercial echoes that sentiment and does so before Kia would truly evolve into the powerhouse of refinement and sport it is today.
4. 2015 Kia K900 – Escape the Matrix
We love this commercial for the sheer number of advertising clichés it averts. First, it’s a commercial about the Matrix in 2014. Secondly, rather than take itself seriously, it has fun and culminates in Laurence Fishburne loudly singing opera in the back seat of Kia’s brand-new-at-the-time luxury sedan. We love it!
5. 2017 Kia Cadenza – Impossible to Ignore
Leaning on star power isn’t always a recipe for success. For Kia, however, using famous redheaded actor Christina Hendricks to illustrate the sophistication and class of the all-new 2017 Kia Cadenza paid off handsomely. The commercial, which shows Hendricks bypass several cars that are lined up to be driven to confidently climb into the Cadenza, is simple and elegant.
6. 2018 Kia Stinger GT – Steven Tyler and Fittipaldi Hit the Track
Everything about this 2018 Super Bowl debut commercial is perfect. We get to see Steven Tyler de-aged and a cameo from Formula 1 racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi. Succinctly communicating the youthful power of the 2018 Kia Stinger GT and showing it in its optimal location at the race track, fans everywhere get to see how the Stinger can make them “Feel something again.”
7. 2019 Kia Forte – Sizing Up the Forte Against Its Real Competition
If you read our blog, you know that Kia’s position in the market makes it prime for some humorous and self-aware reflection. No better is this seen than in this extended commercial which compares the 2019 Kia Forte compact car to its real arch-nemesis – the Lamborghini Aventador. In a world of car companies that take themselves too seriously, Kia’s humor is a refreshment.
8. 2018 Kia Rio – Percussive Performance
We use the term “subversion” a lot to describe Kia’s brand but it’s true that they go out of their way to avoid looking and sound like other car brands. This commercial, which tells you very little about the Rio besides how much fun it can be slamming on it, is still fun and engaging. It also manages to catch the compact hatchback’s rhythmic and youthful personality without a word.
A Future of Great Ads and Even Better Vehicles
When it comes to advertising what makes Kia so special, these ads have done a perfect job. The single thread that runs through all of them is a creative willingness to think outside of what a car ad should look like. This thread flows through Kia’s lineup as well and has undoubtedly been the source of a brand that used to be known for budget rental cars now producing a multiple-award-winning, 365-horsepower sports sedan.
[READ MORE: Kia Stinger Wins Award for Best Interior]
[READ MORE: Kia Stinger Wins Award for Best Engine]
If you think we missed a dynamite ad or just want to tell us how much you love drumming on your Kia Rio Hatchback, contact us today!