The Kia To My Heart??

This week’s posting falls under the heading of “too much of a good thing”.   Yes, I’m talking about the Kia Super Bowl ad with Adriana Lima and Motley Crue:


Now, this ad was actually pretty darn clever – “Mr. Sandman” is going around sparkling “dream dust” on folks so they have awesome dreams.  But he gets to this one guy’s bedroom, trips, and spills the whole bag on the “poor” dude.

So, this guy gets (the agency’s version of…) the “ultimate male dream”.   This, of course, is comprised of:  ONE hot car (OK, it’s a Kia, but that’s kind of the point) driving around a cool race track, ONE hot girl (Adriana, wearing…I’m not sure, what is that?  but who cares?…and…waving a go flag), ONE hot band (Motley Crue?!  Really??  Yuck), and ONE hot crowd (of more hot girls in bikinis cheering).

Too much “dream dust” leads to a dream featuring Dream Car, Dream Girl, Dream Band, and Dream Audience.   The message – Kia is “the car of your dreams”.  Pretty good.

The ad premieres on the Super Bowl to lots of hype – they did a great job utilizing Social Media for “sneak previews” and build up.   And it was well received.

But what happened next?  I guess I’m in the target audience (Male Car Buyers Subject to Ridiculous Fantasies), because over the last two months I have seen this ad HUNDREDS of times, often 5-10X per day!   So now I flinch every time this ad comes on, think about changing the channel, want to throw up when I hear “Mr. Sandman”, and get to the point where I am actually pissed off at Kia.

Some media planner’s ideal of “Frequency” has turned into “Rage” at Kia.   Whoops…

The lesson here is that the whole marketing mix has to work brilliantly together, even if some of the components (in this case Creative) are fantastic, a mistake elsewhere (in this case Media) can doom you.   Haven’t these guys ever heard the term “wear out”??

Clearly the placement was right – I’m in the target audience, and I’m seeing this ad…a lot.  But another factor of media planning is frequency, and that’s where the agency went wrong.

All of your resources need to do great work for you; top to bottom, start to finish.  Every area of the marketing mix has nuances, and it’s important to focus effort on each one.  If the agency fails at just one piece of the pie, the whole campaign could be a total bomb.

And yep, that’s where RFPs come in – it’s essential to put in the time to make sure you find and hire the best partners for your business.

So Kia, maybe do a little thinking about your Media Buying agency?  Thanks, and tell Adriana not to worry – we still love her!


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