How Hamsters Became Kia’s Killer Salesmen

The first time I saw this ad some time in late May for South Korea’s Kia Soul was in the movie theater, and for whatever reason, I instantly loved it. I liked the tune by Black Sheep, as well as the hip-hop hamsters. A part of me was wondering – are these hamsters computer generated or humans wearing costumes? When I saw that the SUV got 31 MPG and started at $14k, I thought, “Wow, if I were to get an SUV, I might seriously consider the Kia Soul.”

Apparently, I am not the only person who seems to really like this ad. Not only has this ad gone viral on the Internet, but it has really helped to boost Kia sales:

“In June, Kia Motors America’s retail sales surged 45% over the same period last year. While Ford, General Motors, and Toyota also posted smaller year-over-year increases in June, their sales fell from May by 11%, 13% and 14%, respectively. Kia’s rose 1.5% month-to-month. Perhaps not surprisingly, dealers also love the hamster campaign. “People come in and say they want to drive the hamster car,” says Edwin Menasaka, general sales manager at Glendale Kia in the Los Angeles area.”

Amazing when a creative ad actually helps also drive sales. I mean, that is the whole long-term point of advertising, right?

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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