Kia Canada launches design-focused campaign

February 07, 2013  |  Russ Martin  |  Comments

Kia Canada is trying to grow its brand beyond the perception that its cars are a low-cost option. A new year-long campaign, which received its first big push with a YouTube takeover on Super Bowl Sunday, focuses on the inspiration behind Kia’s cars. By highlighting Kia’s technology and the design process, the company is hoping consumers will start to associate the Kia brand with quality rather than just affordability.

“We were a brand that meant getting a great deal, and we want to move to being a brand that means getting something great,” said Kia Canada director of marketing Robert Staffieri, who explained the company chose to focus on design after internal research showed it is one of the leading factors that makes consumers choose Kia over other auto brands.

Users who scrolled over Kia’s masthead YouTube ad (created by Innocean Canada) could move a pair of Buddy Holly-style glasses around an image of an upscale restaurant, revealing what inspired the design of Kia cars. For example, moving the glasses over a tiger statue showed Kia’s grills are inspired by a tiger’s nose.

Staffieri said visits to Kia.ca on Super Bowl Sunday were up 129% over the same day in 2012.

Prior to the YouTube initiative, Kia Canada partnered with four artists to create patterns based on Kia designer inspirations – including noted author Douglas Coupland. The company wrapped four of its current car models in the designs, which were on display during the Interior Design Show in Toronto from Jan. 24-27.

The next phase of the campaign is a series of five TV spots, also by Innocean Canada. The first will air on Feb. 24 during the Academy Awards.

ZenithOptimedia Canada handled the media buy for the YouTube takeover and will also handle the upcoming TV buy.

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