Kia's Super Bowl campaign roots for the challenger

The automaker will support three nonprofits benefiting disadvantaged youth with a "Yards Against Homelessness" tie-in.

Kia's Super Bowl campaign roots for the challenger

Kia is continuing to use the Super Bowl to support good causes. This year, the automaker will run a spot during the third quarter of the game to launch the new Seltos SUV and promote a commitment to nonprofits assisting homeless youth.

In "I Run For," a teaser spot released today, Kia and its agency, David&Goliath, hint at the forthcoming tie-in. 

The spot depicts a boy of about age 10, who stoically joins a press conference as a player would post-game. 

He tells the media what gives him such drive: "I run for my pops, the man who sacrificed so much. I run for anyone who’s ever doubted me and for those out there living on white rice and ramen noodles….for those who think there is no light out there at the end of the tunnel."

This 30-second teaser hints at the kind of adversity that can drive an athlete and the everyday challenges of anyone suffering homelessness. 

The "I Run For" teaser is the walk-up to the broader "Give It Everything" direction of Kia’s brand personality and the 60-second Super Bowl commercial for Seltos.

The Super Bowl spot will detail the "hardscrabble journey" of an athlete as well as give a nod to the "Yards Against Homelessness" charitable initiative launched by Kia.

Kia will also donate $1,000 for every yard achieved during the match-up February 2nd and divide the money between three nonprofits supporting homeless youth, Covenant House, Positive Tomorrows and StandUp For Kids. 

"As a brand, Kia has always stood for the challenger in all of us and the communities they are a part of," said Donesh Olyaie, group planning director at David&Goliath. "Kia serves these communities but these communities also make Kia what it is. Because these issues affect our communities, they correspondingly affect Kia, too."

Kia’s Seltos is positioned as an entry-level SUV. The spot, along with the corporation’s commitment to youth nonprofits, signals recognition of a customer base that is generally younger. Kia has tended to direct advertising toward drivers in their 20s and 30s. A recent CarMax study put the average age of Kia owners in the resale market below age 40. 

Last year, Kia created the "Great Unknowns" Scholarship to support needy students. A memorable Super Bowl campaign pointed out the brand had eschewed expensive celebrity endorsers in favor of supporting financially disadvantaged students. 

"As a relative newcomer in the automotive space, Kia has always performed well with youth as they carry less rigid brand preferences than older buyers," said Olyaie. "Equally important are the values the brand shares with them. 

"As we evolve our brand’s portfolio," he continued, "we continue to keep this audience in mind ensuring that we build a more diverse lineup that fits their evolving needs while remaining true to our unique challenger spirit that was appealing to them in the first place."