I love my Kia, so I have been following the upward trajectory of South Korea’s 2nd largest automotive maker for years now. I watched it go from the low cost reliable to the automobile that has “The Power to Surprise,” Over the past several years I can recall several Kia Motor commercials that stood out to me, the Melissa McCarty’s 2017 super bowl advertisement where she is driving from place to place attempting to save the world in her eco-friendly Kia Niro and the new K7, K5 Luxury Sedan advertisements, in Korean (I think), appealed to me because it is tapping into the social media users psyche by using the iconic “like” and “subscribe” button within the ad. All of these commercials are great, the one that stood out and spoke to ME is one I found while looking for sneak peeks of this year Super Bowl ads. In my search, I found Kia’s newest ad, one featuring Josh Jacobs, a running back on the Las Vegas Raiders.
What I notice first is the calming piano instrumental, then the sound of rhythmic breathing, a train in the background, the sound of a fence raddling as a young boy runs through what looks to be a low-income suburb. The scene cuts to Josh driving a green Kia Seltos as he watches his younger self run by. You see Josh speak “I wonder what I would tell my younger self if I ever saw him?” This statement in itself is a question everyone who has ever lived has asked themselves at one point in their life. Adult Josh then goes on to talk to his younger self as they drive through the neighborhood where Mr. Jacobs grow up. Josh explains what it is going to take for young Josh to make something of himself. That “it is going to be hard growing up homeless… but you have to believe in yourself.” This story may not be most Americans’ story, but most Americans can sympathize with the homeless or the struggles of growing up poor. Making this a story about you, a 19-year-old man from middle America or me a mother of two young boys from the suburbs of Philadelphia, or maybe the kid next door. The one who is growing up without a father, knowing that he was born to the seemingly inferior race where every day just to wake up and live is a challenge. This ad is not just selling you a car; it is selling you the dream that you too can make it out of any circumstance if you push yourself.
More than one ad over the years could put me in a total emotional meltdown where I had to question humanity or even if I would ever be the one being proposed to on a gum wrapper. This one did something more, I was inspired, as I write this, tears are swelling up in my eyes, but they are not ones of pain and hurt but of hope and enthusiasm. By driving a Kia Seltos, it does not matter your age your skin color your circumstances; what matters is your right for “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” the American dream. Over the years I have seen Kia grow in ways I have not seen other car companies and they never let me down when it comes to their super bowl ads, but I think this one will set into motion more than just an increase in sells but by airing during the game where an estimated 175 million people will be watching, will also bring awareness to Kia’s new Yards Against Homelessness charitable initiative, part of it’s Give It Everything campaign. Kia has pledged $1000 donation for every yard gained during the Super Bowl to three charities, all aimed toward helping homeless youth. By aligning themselves to a worthy cause, I believe this ad is more than effective, it has uprooted deep emotions in myself and I plan to share this story and donate because I think it is important to share what moves you.
“Tough Never Quits” Big Game Commercial 2020 – https://youtu.be/YyMev6_XZ9s
Kia: Tough Never Quits full campaign – https://www.thedrum.com/creative-works/project/davidgoliath-kia-tough-never-quits
Photo by Dimi Katsavaris on Unsplash
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