Hamsters in Kia Soul commercials inspire 'Hamstar' clothing line

By Elena Malykhina on Thu Sep 2 2010


You've seen them on TV, and now you can roll in style like the hamsters in the Kia Soul ads. The carmaker and D&G (that's David&Goliath, Kia's ad agency, not Dolce & Gabbana) have rolled out a line of streetwear clothing inspired by the furry rappers. Called Hamstar (yes, ham + star), the line includes T-shirts, hats and hoodies. The clothing doesn't feature the actual Kia characters; instead, it sports a simple design and the word "Hamstar," just like a hoodie worn by one of the hamsters in the car ad. At the moment, the selection, offered online at HamstarClothing.com, is a bit limited. I'm sure it won't be long, though, before all the cool kids are wearing it. Well, I don't know that. But it is a clever way for Kia to cash in on its highly successful ads.

USA's 'Psych' and Kia cars smoothly drive their cross-promotion

Posted on Fri Aug 7 2009

A couple of cops are chasing down a purse snatcher, so you know right away this is TV and not real life, certainly not in any major city in the country. One cop tackles the bad guy while the other fixates on a Kia sedan parked at the curb. "It has Bluetooth!" he shouts. Doesn't take much to distract that guy. The spot, a promo for the new season of USA Network's Psych, premiering tonight, does an affable job of mashing up characters from a hit show with a major sponsor. Detectives Julie O'Hara (Maggie Lawson) and Carlton Lassiter (Tim Omundson) star in the ad, alongside the Kia Forte. (The car has Sirius satellite radio, MP3 connections and other gadgets, which we'll probably hear about in future promos or see in product placement on the show). The Kia-Psych partnership is in year two, coming on the heels of a successful campaign earlier this year with show stars James Roday and Dule Hill. If blurring the line between entertainment and advertising could always be this good natured, maybe people wouldn't gripe about it so much.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Is Kia really admitting that its cars run like hamsters on wheels?

Posted on Thu Apr 9 2009

Someone on Kia's marketing team clearly has a self-deprecating sense of humor. The latest Kia Soul spot shows hamsters running on wheels, which seems like the Korean car maker is poking some fun at its reputation for being slow. I have the unfortunate pleasure of actually owning a Kia, purchased from my mother-in-law. (I'm not proud.) When I told our Brandweek's former auto reporter about my purchase, he said with mock concern, "You're not going to take that thing on the highway are you?" Indeed, it has very little pick-up, and a hairy merge could mean the end of me if I don't time it right. So, indeed, Kia's automobiles function like they are run by hamster wheels. Is this the analogy  you want to make in your advertising? The other key selling point is it comes with 50-plus accessories, including MP3 capability. Someone should let Kia know that you can do that with just about every car now. The difference is, the other cars' stereos aren't run by small rodents.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein



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