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The Coolest Hamsters On The Planet

A David & Goliath Story

The Kia Motor Corporation of Seoul, South Korea, introduced their Kia Soul model to the North American car market in 2010. The 5-door, 5-seater compact crossover SUV, was designed for the hip lifestyle of an emerging urban youth market.

The launch commercial by Advertising Agency David & Goliath, Los Angeles, featured life-sized, music-loving hamsters that were an instant hit. The ‘Kia Soul Hamsters’ soon became a pop-culture phenomenon,

The commercial won a Silver EFFIE Award in the “David v. Goliath” category, which grants awards to smaller, new or emerging brands that challenge category leaders head-on.

The most noteworthy accolade received however, was probably the induction of the Kia Soul Hamsters in the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame in 2011; the only automotive brand on record ever to be accorded this honour.

Escaping The Treadmill

Subsequent commercials in the campaign, despite their contributions to spectacular sales results and generating millions of YouTube views, have left many industry observers mystified about their complexity, meaning and what they have to do with selling cars?

Part of the answer is that the comprehensibly integrated advertising campaigns are largely about a positive, pro-active attitude to life. About self-expression and breaking out of the daily tedium of sameness by finding “A New Way To Roll”; a message that seems to resonate with a young urban target audience and widely embraced.

1. Kia Soul, A New Way to Roll

Advertising Agency: David & Goliath, Los Angeles

This was the first commercial to feature the ultra-cool Kia ‘Soul Hamsters’. It was also the start of a remarkable success story of what would become one of the longest running advertising campaigns in the recent history of Automotive Advertising.

2. Kia Soul, Black Sheep

 Advertising Agency: David & Goliath, Los Angeles

The Soul Hamsters show off their street-cred to Hip, Hip duo Black Sheep’s song ‘The Choice Is Yours’, in a superbly crafted commercial directed by Bardou Jaquet.

3. Kia Soul, Rock Anthem

Advertising Agency: David & Goliath, Los Angeles

The commercial was first aired during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards featuring the number one hit song at the time, ‘Party Rock Anthem’ by electro-pop group LMFAO.

Director Mark Romanek, and award-winning visual effects company, Method, cast the Soul Hamsters arriving in a spectacularly bleak videogame shoot-out, as cool ambassadors of game-changing optimism. The result makes for highly entertaining viewing.

4. Kia Soul, Bringing The House Down

Advertising Agency: David & Goliath, Los Angeles

Directed by Carl Erik Rinsch and filmed on location in Prague, this surreal, time-travel commercial was first aired during the MTV Video Music Awards in 2012. The soundtrack features the song “In My Mind” (Axwell Remix) by Ivan Gough, Feenixpawl and Georgi Kay.

5. Kia Soul, Applause

Advertising Agency: David & Goliath, Los Angeles

Directed by Colin Jeffery, this meticulously crafted commercial stars the Soul Hamsters preparing for their grand appearance during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards to introduce the all-new Kia Soul. The soundtrack features Lady Gaga’s new single “applause” which she performed live for the very first time at the Awards.

6. Kia Soul, Fully Charged

Advertising Agency: David & Goliath, Los Angeles

To the delight of millions of Soul Hamster fans, the launch of Kia Soul’s all electric EV saw the introduction of some ultra cool female counterparts in this entertaining phantasy.

Directed by Colin Jeffery, the high production value commercial about a charmingly absurd laboratory experiment plays out against a soundtrack of ‘Animals’ by Maroon 5 and sung by Adam Levine.

7. Kia Soul, Share Some Soul

Advertising Agency: David & Goliath, Los Angeles

Directed by Colin Jeffery, Kia Soul’s 2016 commercial was dedicated to celebrating the soul-bonding, multicultural resonance of music. The sountrack of “Dueling Banjos” by Squeak E. Clean Productions was specially composed and produced for the commercial.

8. Kia Soul, Turbo Hamster Has Arrived

Advertising Agency: David & Goliath, Los Angeles

Directed by multi- award winning Matthijs Van Heijningen, the commercial introduces Baby Turbo, a very cute new Soul Hamster arrival. This superbly crafted, fast paced and highly entertaining venture features “Ace of Spades” By Motörhead as a fitting soundtrack.