Kia debuted its newest hamster ad during Sunday’s broadcast of the MTV Video Music Awards. It stars a team of nerdy hamster engineers who, when working on the new electric Soul, accidentally create a sexy female hamster. Upon realizing what they've done, they dash off to the pet store to create an entire female hamster herd. The soundtrack is a new song by Maroon5, called "Animal," and the question we ask is "Are these new hamster girls too sexy?"
The goal of the commercial, of course, is to draw attention to the new 2015 Soul EV, Kia’s first mass-market, all-electric, zero-emissions car and the centerpiece of the brand’s Clean Mobility program by showing that clean electric vehicle technology can be smart and practical as well as fun and playful.
Kia's beloved hamsters have been promoting the brand for six years now, evolving from simple pets in boxy cars, to hip hop dancing "Hamstars," to handsome tuxedo'ed hamstars on a red carpet, to the rambunctious rodents introduced in this campaign.
With a wide variety of soundtracks ranging from the classic hip-hop track "The Choice Is Yours" by Black Sheep and LMFAO's smash hit "Party Rock Anthem" to last year’s “Applause” by Lady Gaga, Kia’s music-loving hamsters have become some of the most-watched advertising icons of all time, and the Soul’s ongoing popularity is a driving force behind increased awareness and consideration for the Kia brand as a whole. Earlier spots depicted city and suburban streets inhabited exclusively by hamsters who mindlessly run in place inside their exercise wheels and cleverly compared "This," the funky and uniquely styled Soul, to "That," a number of boring and mundane appliances on wheels, cardboard boxes or hamster wheels.
With more than 20 million views, 2011's "Share Some Soul" was the third most-watched automotive ad in YouTube history at the time of the campaign launch, and later that year, the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame named the hamsters as their first-ever "Rookie of the Year."
"Over the last six years, the Kia Soul and the hamsters have evolved together,” said Colin Jeffery, chief creative officer, D&G. “In 2013, the Soul was totally transformed, so it made sense for the Hamsters to become just as sleek and sophisticated. This year, we were tasked with introducing Kia’s first electric vehicle in the U.S., and to suit their smart new ride, the hamsters started hitting the books instead of the gym. Smart is the new sexy, and the hamsters are using their wits, and a fortuitous lab accident, to their advantage.”
As part of the multi-platform “Fully Charged” campaign, an extended cut of the video is also available for viewing at Kia.com/KiaSoul ; Kia is also exclusively offering 200,000 free downloads of “Animals” from this link before its release on iTunes.
So what do you think? Do you think dressing svelte hamsters in high heels, pleather, and miniskirts is taking it too far? Or do you think the new Kia Hamster girls are just playful enough?
More from entertainment