TBT: Our Favorite Hamsters Rock Out in a Kia “Soul Jam”

Can you believe it was 2009 when we first met the Kia Hamsters? Our favorite furries furry favorites do it again in Kia’s “The World Needs More Soul” campaign. The spot from David&Goliath starts off like the famous dueling banjos scene from Deliverance, with Nathaniel Rateliff plucking away at his guitar, playing nothing other than the actual “Dueling Banjos” tune. And up rolls a Kia Soul packed with musical hamsters, who join in the song, along with the rest of the city.

Michael Sprague COO of Kia Motors America said the idea was, “to create something fun and different that stands out from the crowd, just like the Soul.” And using a familiar tune is how they try to up the fun-factor every time. Music unites people across cultures, and making the music was a challenging, yet rewarding project for Kia Motors America. Dr. Steven Loza from UCLA’s Herb Albert School of Music’s Department of Ethnomusicology made sure the music was culturally authentic, all musicians and instruments considered. Director Colin Jeffery reiterated that, “music really is the one true universal language. It’s something that everyone can understand, something that everybody can feel.” The feeling definitely comes through in The Making the Music video.

Beyond the music, “Soul Jam” was highly involved. It took 3,000 hours of computer-generated imagery to create the hamsters, who once again steal the show by bringing people and cultures together with their music.

The ad found its way to the National CineMedia’s FirstLook pre-show program and, of course, “The World Needs More Soul” campaign expanded its reach through social, digital, and OOH elements.

And on a playful note, Kia used emojis as part of the tagline. So if you’re fluent in emoji, you know it says “The world needs more peace, love, hamsters, and soul.” Amen.

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