Kia “Michelle Wie”

Some cliches hold up better than others. This new spot for the Kia Soul (via David&Goliath) is betting there’s still good mileage in the cliche of the white-bread, white-guy golfers at the stuffy old country club. You may feel it’s onto something as you watch pro golfer Michelle Wie wheel into the country-club parking lot in her bright red Kia Soul, a hip-hop anthem blasting from its sound system. Granted, the most worshipped golfer in recent years is the famously multiethnic Tiger Woods, so the white-guy-golfer cliche has been somewhat overtaken by events. But anyone who doesn’t fall into that demographic category himself will likely enjoy watching the stir Wie causes as she struts to the first tee and slams a drive out of sight. My hunch is that cliches about things we like tend to seem stale, while cliches about things we don’t like (in this case, the old-line, monochromatic country club) remain enjoyable. At any rate, this vignette’s use of Wie makes a more distinctive impression — and does more to define the Kia Soul as a brash newcomer — than would a run-of-the-mill celebrity endorsement. The spot presents her as a person who stands for something out of the ordinary, and that helps to confer a similar aura on the Kia Soul. –Mark Dolliver