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Kia Soul cross-platform marketing campaigns

Kia SoulKorean car maker Kia has been hitting the marketing trail hard with a number of campaigns to promote their “Soul” model.  Based on the original concept of a clever little boar (wild pig) by Mike Torpey (Kia American Design Center, Irvine, California), the unique shape and design has been a strong feature of the cars advertising.  These have included sponsorship of the US crime drama series CSI on Channel 5, “Soul Train” music concerts at shopping centres across the UK and an online viral video campaign using Soul car’s driving around and performing stunts on a ship dock.

Soul sponsors CSI on Channel 5
Kia signed a year long deal with Channel Five to sponsor its US crime drama series.  One of the largest TV sponsorship opportunities available in the UK, the package will support Kia’s activities to raise its brand profile.  The sponsorship deal includes CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Law and Order, The Shield, NCIS and Criminal Minds.  Each programme will start with a 15 second ident and end with a 10 second ident with five second idents at the start and end of each commercial break.

“Soul Train” music concerts
A convoy of eight Soul cars (named the ‘Soul Train’ by Kia) will tour across the UK over a three-month period. The car manufacturer will host soul music concerts at shopping centres to target Soul at younger and more design-influenced car buyers.

Kia Soul Rock!
Using over 100 cars, a stunt driving team from Hyundai and Kia creates a man figure waving his arms, mimic a Soul rolling along a road and end by recreating the Soul logo.  Many of the vehicles power slide and skid into position but Kia reassures potential buyers that none of the Soul vehicles used will be sold to the public.  The video has been posted on YouTube and the team behind it at on the Kia Buzz site.

Kia has performed relatively well in 2009 despite the downturn of the car industry, with new car sales only down by 7% over the first five months of the year. Last month, the motor manufacturer posted a 20% year-on-year growth in sales, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 
 
The Kia Soul comes with six airbags, four disc brakes and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) as standard and has two engine configurations available: a 1.6-liter developing 122 horsepower and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit producing 142 horsepower. The 2.0 litre engine is available with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.  A Soul test drive can be booked via Kia’s UK website, power sliding around a dock optional – but not recommended.

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