The hamsters are back. Kia has been hinting that the mascots for its Soul vehicle would make a new appearance in ads -- and indeed, they are here. The company introduced the anthropomorphic Cricetinae in the Soul launch campaign "New Way to Roll" in 2009 and brought them back some months later in a wildly popular ad set to "This or That" by the Black Sheep that established the animals as droll hipsters.
The new TV, in-cinema, digital and social media campaign uses LMFAO's hit "Party Rock Anthem." And instead of rolling through a world where un-hip hamsters attempt to travel about on appliances, the three rotund rodents now roll through an interstellar video game world.
The new effort, "Share Some Soul," by longtime AOR David & Goliath, launches with a 60-second spot that opens on a futuristic video game world where robots and humanoids are battling to the death with various weapons of mass destruction. Into this landscape the Hamsters arrive in a bright green Soul with "Party Rock Anthem" blasting out the back. The various robots and soldiers stop what they're doing and watch as the Hamsters exit the car and break into the "shuffle" dance. Then the machines and humanoids drop their weapons and break into the dance as well.
The Hamsters are also wearing the "Hamstar" clothing line that started as something of an ersatz pursuit at David & Goliath, but has gained a following.
The spot is on YouTube now, but is set to hit the air during MTV's Video Music Awards on Aug. 28. Kia also has an in-cinema buy for the spot starting in theaters Sept. 2 -- with 30-second versions on network and cable television beginning Sept. 5, per the company.
Facebook, Kia.com and YouTube will be central to a "shuffle" dance video submission contest mid-month for a chance to win cash and other prizes.
The new version of Soul comes in three variations (Soul, Soul+ and Soul!) and has cosmetic upgrades to the front and rear fascias. IN addition to new technology and interior accoutrements, it has new headlamps, taillights, side mirrors and wheels.