Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kia Sportage Commercial - Share The Road

There is a car commercial that is airing (or aired) recently here in Canada that has me kind of intrigued. I have no idea if it has aired in any US  or European markets, so I figured I would post it and see what my very intelligent readers thought:




I find it encouraging and positive and manipulative and sort of ironic all at once, but I'll save the rest of my ramblings for the comments. Am I just being stupidly cynical about a perfectly good sign? What's your take? 



Yer Pal, R A N T W I C K

28 comments:

lifein360 said...

Awesome marketing. Will appeal to the off road cyclist along with the road biker. Smart.

Rat Trap Press said...

Very interesting. I haven't seen it before.

RANTWICK said...

Hey, RTP! Send me your address!

milkyman said...

This TV commercial was created solely for the Canadian marketplace. Kia actually has bicycle production in their international history.

Kia Canada has been doing some very interesting work recently, check out this commercial that Kia aired last summer.

http://www.youtube.com/kiacanada#p/c/45577F8BC82188ED/3/VSuxRDn5mZ8

Morry said...

i heard this incredibly weird stat that in the United States the daily bicycle commuter actually owns on average two cars. I wish I could provide a link to such non-sense but I heard it on the radio..........

PaddyAnne said...

I think Kia are probably a smarter company than most people have given them credit for - I think they've made a great commercial.

Steve A said...

Paddy Anne is right, but Kia would be even smarter if they showed that commercial in the US as well! I'd like to get down to the two cars Morry refers to. Or do only working cars count?

RANTWICK said...

Thanks for comments everybody!

@Morry - that doesn't really surprise me if the stat is for the family cars owned by bike commuters... if it was for the individual I would be as sceptical as you are

@MilkyMan - I remember that one. I also remember feeling cynical about doing a small good for some large PR and marketing value. This is why I'm conflicted I guess... the results of corporate do-gooderisms are undeniably positive, but I always find myself feeling manipulated into liking a company despite their overiding profit motives.

@PaddyAnne - They are definitely a smart company, and this is a smart commercial.

@SteveA - I wonder if market research has indicated that it wouldn't fly so well in the US? Dunno.

John Romeo Alpha said...

Did you catch the recent light beer commercial that shows cycling in a positive light, where a smart-looking young man chooses cycling rather than driving? I almost fell out of my barcolounger and spilled my bag of doritos into my onion dip bowl when I saw that one.

RANTWICK said...

JRA - Nope... although I can say from experience that it is very difficult to pilot a bicycle while drunk on light beer. That experience was ages ago, of course. Not, like, yesterday.

Skyers said...

Thanks Kia!!
I have a Kia Mini van and this commercial has convinced me what vehicle to by next... A BIKE.
I wonder what kind of bikes are in the comercial? It would have been nice if they also added the costs of purchasing one of those bikes VS. a $279 a month lease.

Ellen said...

When I saw this ad on tv, I felt (like you) really mixed about it. Although it's cool that they're sending the message that the roads are for bikes as well as cars, I actually feel oddly used/violated by it! I feel like they're using cyclists' values to promote something that many serious pro-biking people don't support: cars. Kia is speaking on behalf of cyclists, which I resent... the car isn't even an electric/hybrid car!

At the same time, it's fantastic if the ad compels any drivers to start biking, or to start driving more courteously in relation to bikers.

RANTWICK said...

Ellen - Precisely. Sounds like we're in the same boat. Thanks for your comment!

James D. Schwartz said...

I could care less if Kia is profiting from sending across this message. If they are promoting something good in order to market their product, then good for them.

If more car companies asked drivers to share the road, then our streets could be far more pleasant to ride on than they are currently.

christopheru said...

Definitely a clever ad, without a doubt. There is something very good to be said about the notion of sharing space and leaving room for the other.

RANTWICK said...

JDS & Chris - I'm sure you are right. The message is a good one and I am most likely thinking too hard.

One nice thing about feeling undecided is that I can happily and easily agree with all who comment, it would seem.

JAt in Seattle said...

Well, it's no hip-hop hamsters (do you have that one for the Kia Soul?...)
down here we have an ad for a BMW SUV that shows all it can do and at one point the SUV driver sedately passes a pack of sporting cyclists and gives them a friendly wave, but the BMW has German plates, so maybe that's what SUV drivers do there - certainly not here. It makes me mad every time.

The US cycle commuter owning two cars sounds a little unlikely to me, but who knows?

Anonymous said...

I don't know a single cyclist who doesn't own a car or two, we just choose not to drive on occasion, be it for fun, fitness, transportation, whatever. So when I hear the ignorant driver yell "Get off the road you don't belong here", I wonder if they realize I pay the very same Federal, State, Home & Vehicle taxes thay do that builds roads! Well done to KIA for trying to get the word out.

Keith said...

Whether we drive one (or two) or not, cars will not be disappearing from the roads anytime soon. So, if a car company is encouraging it's customers to share the road with cyclists, that seems like a very good thing to me. I hope the commercial will be aired in the US.

RANTWICK said...

I, like most, as you guys point out, drive almost every day for one reason or another, and whether I'm confused or conflicted or suspicious or cynical or whatever, I find myself considering Kia more strongly for my next vehicle purchase because at least its something.

If this ad can cut through all my thinky-ness and leave me feeling this way, it was a good idea. That is, unless the motoring (non-cycling) majority is put off by it somehow... I guess that's when JAT's hip hop hamsters can reel 'em back in.

franceinaboot said...

From the speed that the cyclists are traveling whilst shouldering grip and cameras with seemingly little effort or loss of balance, I am suspecting that either the cycles were electric-assisted or possibly even virtually created. The line that they ride along that street seems too straight and unerring to be real. Admittedly, it gives a Utopian atmosphere to the closing section of the advertisement. Plus, there are no mud stains on the vehicle after its trip through the off-road segment. Hmm, it's all very slick. But then there is the color of the car. My wife wouldn't like it.

RANTWICK said...

franceinaboot - Yep, pretty slick alright. I remember thinking wow, those are pretty skilled riders...

Doing said...

My first impression is that it's manipulative and lacks authenticity.

They want you to believe that the crew opted to shoot a commercial riding on bikes. But on close examination it doesn't appear there are any shots that were acquired from the camera angles they portray. Handheld shooting is shaky at best of times; nevermind on bike. "Motion stabilization" visual enhancement only helps so much before motion blur gives it away.

As well, they are moving a little too fast to maintain the smoothness which suggests further visual effects enhancement, and in such a shot, what's the point of a boom mic operator except for visual cosmetics? There is obviously no location sound in the mix. Just an angelically pure male choir to a folksy melody of hope for better times.

It's a good message but easily forgettable as a spot, requiring the supering of text "share the road" in case you didn't get it. I'm sure it plays to the already faithful or the gullible, and in a way can be seen as a metaphor some see as a problem in the financially backed green movement: largely symbolic, lacking substance. Thus it's no wonder there are comments on youtube claiming "greenwash".

kia türkiye said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RANTWICK said...

Doink - Yeah, it is a Greenwash of sorts, but I still like the message.

Arielle Furtado said...

I would be happy to see this ad air in the US... regardless of Kia's intentions, any movement toward public education about sharing the road should be applauded. We need public service announcements, but if they have to come in the form of an advertisement for an over-sized gas guzzler, it is at least something.
I ride bikes and drive and shuttle bikes. We're all addicted.

Anonymous said...

I wonder where was the commercial filmed , specially the street at the end of the commercial ,

Anonymous said...

Definitely need to get the awareness up in the US about cyclists' place on the roads, regardless of how, as we're only going to be needing more room as things go on.
For the morals of it, cyclists typically believe in conservation of resources and a KIA does that better than most brands, so I'm good with it and glad they brought up the topic, though I would have taken a different approach personally.

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