Kia: The Turbo Hamster Has Arrived

In this commercial


Heart or Humor



In a world where the automotive advertising needs to be stand out more than ever, the 2017 Kia Soul Turbo commercial titled “The Turbo Hamster Has Arrived”, is a prime reflection on the lengths car brands now have to go to in order to shout out. In this review we offer a quick breakdown of this ad in terms of core advertising criteria, giving each element a score out of 10. Take another look at this high tempo advert before reading through. Here are our thoughts.

Memorability – 7 / 10

The incorporation of cute animated main characters has always been a popular technique throughout the history of advertising. Why should that ever change? However, a slight problem is bound to arrive when your furry icon lacks distinct personality, a catchy voice or outstanding visual appeal.

In these cases, animated characters just seem like gimmicks rather than meaningful metaphors and we worry the Turbo Hamster falls along the borders of this classification. The ad is delivered with tempo, impressive graphics, and catchy choreography, all of which raise the memorability of the clip as an action packed sequence. Will most viewers remember the rodent instead of the car after their first view? We think so.

Effectiveness – 6 / 10

Evidently, Kia wants the Soul to stand for being the rebel of the current market. Slightly different, weird and yet prepared to do the hard work and go the distance. It’s a striking concept that must have had great potential when conceived and throughout the initial creative processes. Somewhere down the line, however, the mission seems to have been slightly blurred if not forgotten. The main aim of the ad must surely have been to sell the car. This is make-or-break for almost all automotive commercials. The Soul only shows up for what feels like 2 seconds in this clip and none of its key selling points are highlighted clearly enough to be remembered after a single view. The Hamster is sold, but the car may be too easily forgotten.

Style – 7 / 10

Styling leaves little to be desired. The production value is great with detailed graphics, impressive action scenes and a modern metro environment which is perfectly relevant to the car. The Hamster is well crafted but does it have memorable defining characteristics? Characters in advertising have to be increasingly special to stick in our minds, and this rodent doesn’t seem to have any gripping features. An opportunity has been missed to create a leading character with far more presence.

Heart or Humor – 6 / 10

Next to no heart, all humor. It won’t be splitting any sides or earning skyrocket success on youtube, but its uniqueness does bring some form of the edge over conventional car adverts. This particular car is evidently less about beauty and more about capability. This notion is made very clear by the concept with a huge push towards the elements of bravery and fun.

Execution – 7 / 10

A decent visual sequence and unique approach are this ads best qualities. It starts and ends with bounce which is a big plus. The lack of a role played by the actual product in the clip is a downer and the basic lead character leaves us feeling like an opportunity has been missed.



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