Kia Brings Back Blake As Optima Superhero

Kia Motor America (KMA) spokesperson Blake Griffin, is back pitching the Optima sedan. The Los Angeles Clippers forward will appear in eight ads for the 2014 model of the midsize car that co-feature Jack McBrayer of NBC’s “30 Rock.” The spots, which posit the two as a team of crime fighters, begin Wednesday night on the NBA Tip-Off ’13 doubleheader. 

The first ad, in 60- and 30-second versions, acts like a ’70s-style TV-series episode introduction, with Griffin and McBrayer zip lining, chasing, jumping, rolling, sharing the screen with the Optima and generally doing camera mugs. Succeeding spots will follow specific plot-lines with the duo doing various heroics to save people from making car buying faux pas. The first of those breaks this week.  



Created by AOR David&Goliath, the Griffin-McBrayer spots are also on all of Kia’s social and digital platforms, including and, per the company.

Griffin started with Kia in 2011 in a video of a real stunt during a game that showed him dunking a ball after leaping over the roof of the Optima. Last season Griffin touted the car and Kia’s UVO telematics system in spots that sent him back in time to meet his younger self and offer life coaching. 

Kia, which has been the official automotive partner of the NBA since the 2008-09 season, has partnerships with 13 individual NBA teams, and sponsors the “Most Valuable Player Award,” “Defensive Player of the Year,” “Sixth Man Award,” and “Most Improved Player,” all under the aegis of "The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia." Kia also has its name on ESPN's "Kia NBA Countdown." The Irvine, Calif.-based KMA renewed its relationship with the league last year, adding The Golden State Warriors to its roster of sponsored teams. 

The automaker also has a big sponsorship footprint in NCAA football: Kia last year became the official auto partner of the Southeastern Conference, grabbed a sponsorship position with Chick-fil-A Bowl and Outback Bowl, and became Founding Partner of the $66.5 million College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, which should be open about a year from now. 

While Kia’s major and college sports sponsorships are meant to build awareness and consideration for its mass-market brands, the automaker also has a sponsorship presence in pro golf, a tactical alignment with affluent lifestyle as the brand moves upmarket. Kia rolled out the $35,000 Cadenza in May this year with ads urging consumers to rethink the brand by drawing a comparison between Kia vehicles and the high school girl who shows up at the reunion (in a Cadenza) a statuesque beauty.

Kia will continue upmarket with the K900 Quoris, which it will reveal at the Los Angeles Auto Show this fall. Word has it that when it goes on sale in the U.S. next year it will be priced between $50,000 and $70,000. The car and the price pits it against corporate sibling Hyundai's Equus, not to mention the BMW 5-Series, Audi A5 and A6, and Mercedes E-Class.

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