Kia turns to animation for standout in £15m ad push

LONDON - Kia Motors is eschewing 'money shot'-based car advertising and is instead relying on a cast of animated characters to help it stand out in its first national television campaign, created by Mustoes.

The £15m campaign breaks this week, with a spot promoting the new small model Picanto, directed by Pete Candeland, who has previously worked on animated videos for Damon Albarn's band Gorillaz.

The ad begins with the line "Think about it" and shows a group of animated female characters trying to get out of a three-door car and then cuts to a group of women elegantly stepping out of the five-door Picanto. It asks viewers whether they would rather pay £6,000 for a three-door car, or pay £500 less for a five-door car, and ends with the line "Kia Picanto. The thinking person's small car".

It was written by Michael Mahoney and art directed by Andy Amadeo. Both are creative directors at Mustoes. The animation is by the illustrator Pete Fowler and the ad was produced by Passion Productions.

Mustoes came up with the distinctive look for the ads after reviewing a host of car spots made over the past year, and having identified a distinct formula used across a number of marques.

Nick Mustoe, chief executive of Mustoes, said: "Car advertising, with very few exceptions, has got stuck in a rut. The commercial pressure to succeed, and to some extent the motor industry's obsession with product, has stifled creativity, making very elegant and well-crafted but ultimately formulaic ads the norm."

The "Think About It" campaign breaks on Thursday on television and in the press. Further advertising for other Kia models will use the same style and characters, positioning the marque as the choice for thinking people.

Paul Williams, managing director of Kia Motors UK, said: "Our 'Think About It' campaign will engage car buyers in a way that previous campaigns have not and put the brand in front of a much bigger customer base.

"The campaign marks a significant development for the Kia brand as a whole and seeks to establish Kia as a new proposition in the UK motoring sector."

Media planning and buying is by Starcom Motive.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.