U.S. auto sales had their best month in three years in August, but you don’t necessarily have to put out any cold, hard cash if you want some new wheels. It might help, though, if you can dance and know how to operate a video camera.
Korea’s Kia Motors is offering up a brand spanking new $14,400 2013 Kia Soul for whoever can come up with a 90-second music video that judges and consumers fall for — and raises the question of whether Kia has accepted the mantle of "hamster brand" after its CMO told Ad Age he wanted to avoid that nickname.
The contest ties in with its latest Hamsterrific ad campaign, the "Bringing Down the House" commercial that debuted during the MTV Video Music Awards telecast last week, that features those shuffling hamsters again — only this time around they go back in time to win over a snooty crowd of pompadoured, poufy opera fans.
"Music has played a starring role in each of the Soul hamster spots, and the mash-up and remixing trends that inspired 'Bringing Down the House' lends itself to tapping the imaginations of fans of the spot and aspiring music video directors to allow them to express their creativity," stated Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing and communications, Kia Motors America.
The dancing hamsters (and their Hamstar-branded apparel) have been key for the brand in winning over the unpredictable Gen-Y market. Also helping sales is its partnership with NBA young gun Blake Griffin, who dunked over a Kia to win the much-watched 2011 Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star weekend.
Now consumers have the opportunity to win their own Kia to jump over. Each 90-second video needs to be set to an Axwell remix of the tune "In My Mind" that can then be uploaded to Kia’s YouTube channel by Sept. 26. Folks who post videos can also upload them to social-media sites to help gain votes. Online voting will take place till early October and count for 49 percent of the final vote.
After six finalist videos (three potential winners and three alternates) are selected in early October, a few celebrity judges will weigh in. To get things rolling, the automaker posted general submission guidelines plus tips on lighting, shooting and editing dance sequences for music videos, along with sample entries to inspire fans on how to come up with their own Hamstarring commercial: