Kia Gets Serious in Amanti Campaign

LOS ANGELES Kia Motors America launches a broadcast campaign this week introducing its first large sedan, the Amanti.

The effort, from independent shop davidandgoliath in Los Angeles, comes as the client attempts to move its brand up-market and target a more affluent audience than in the past. The campaign is aimed at consumers in their mid-40s to late-50s with household incomes of $75,000 to $90,000. It eschews the humor of past campaigns for a more serious tone.

The Irvine, Calif., client said it would spend slightly less on this campaign than it did when it launched the Sorento a year ago. Kia spent $53 million on Sorento ads and $265 million overall in 2002, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Aegis Group’s Carat in Los Angeles and New York handles media buying.

One introductory TV spot, which breaks Dec. 26, shows the Amanti racing across the desert and has the onscreen text, “It’s not a Jaguar. It’s not a Lexus. It’s not even a luxury car. Or is it?” A second spot, “Books,” breaks in early January and has the Amanti negotiating its way around monolithic, building-size textbooks as a voiceover asks, “Where is it written that a big car has to be boring? That only the rich get to be safe? Where is it written that luxury is only for the few? If it is written somewhere, we couldn’t find it.”

Three versions of a print ad featuring the same imagery as the TV spots break in the January editions of consumer publications and car enthusiast titles. The campaign also includes outdoor, radio and online ads, mall displays and direct mail.

In addition, Kia completed a 10-city grassroots tour earlier this month called, “Forever young with Kia Amanti.” As part of the tour, the automaker secured signatures on a petition aimed at convincing Merriam-Webster to change the definition of “baby boomer” so that it includes not only date of birth but also addresses psychographics.