Kia Optima commercial “Time to Shine”

Athletes have always been popular spokesperson choices for companies that want to represent their brand as strong, powerful and full of finesse, but other than sponsorship deals, it’s not too often that a product makes its way into the wide world of sports at the field level.

That all changed earlier this year, when at the NBA All-Star Game, basketball superstar Blake Griffin leapt over a Kia Optima sedan and easily walked away as the champion of the ever popular slam dunk contest.

Shortly after the event, which garnered worldwide exposure, the slam dunk heard round the world was used in a highly effective advertising campaign for the new Optima, using the catchphrase of “not your average dunk, not your average midsize sedan.”

That one-off shot did more to raise awareness about the Kia Optima than perhaps any other advertising method used previously, and it once again highlighted the power that sports holds over the buying public.

It came as no real surprise then that Kia opted to use Blake Griffin again, when the time came to run ads for the new 2012 Optima, but rather than the serious mode adopted in the previous ad, Kia and Griffin this time opted to poke a little fun at the dunk, whilst still getting the point across about the quality of the vehicle.

Titled “Time to Shine”, the 30 second Kia Optima commercial features Griffin on roller skates, and dressed in an Evel Kneivel type outfit, being pulled along by the Optima sedan which launches him up a ramp, and high into the air. He then catches a basketball fired out by a cannon, and after a few flips, Griffin dunks into a basket that is raised 45 feet off the ground.

The ad was created by advertising agency David & Goliath, who may be best known for their trio of hip-hop hamsters that are used in the wildly successful ads for the Kia Soul.

A representative for Kia stated that the original dunk was the launching point for their relationship with Griffin, saying that the youthful style and performance of the Optima 2012 was perfectly mirrored by Blake every time he stepped on the court.

At this point Kia is the only automaker that has a professional basketball player as their global representative, and as long as Griffin continues to wow fans on the court with his eye popping performance, that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

14 thoughts on “Kia Optima commercial “Time to Shine”

  1. Because showing off features and performance don’t sell a car. Fantasy and excitement sell cars. Go to your local community college and sign up for a marketing class.

  2. Still ain’t able to supply 10,000 per month. Hopefully that changes this month, as Optimas are coming from GA now. I watch CBS a lot, and the commercials I see show the Optima driving on a race track, telling about the turbo engine, heated and cooled leather seats, and 35 MPG. It doesn’t leave an impact, it isn’t memorable. Doing something unusual, off the wall, and totally entertaining will stick in people’s minds – that’s why the hamsters are such a success. A fact sheet is just gonna bore people to death. They have been running the commercial I described for almost a month. It hasn’t made any kind of news, it doesn’t make a splash. Marketing is hacking into people’s soul and downloading something memorable – you have to make it viral!

  3. Overall I think Kia’s automotive advertising in the U.S. is fine. I don’t know what the problem is…Blake Griffin dunking, the hamsters, one I don’t see advertised is the current Forte. The Kia GT is too far off still to advertise, though, as a Kia enthusiast who can’t get enough of the new Kia GT, I say bring on anything and everything about the GT that is available.

  4. There are at least three Kia Optima commercials I have seen on CBS advertising the Heated and Cooled Seats, Turbo Engine, 35 MPG, Performance, UVO, Panoramic Sunroof, Handling, and even the paddle shifters. You cannot tell me Kia doesn’t advertise in that way, I see those commercials every time I watch my evening news. One of them has a theme of “Left Brain, Right Brain”, one of them says “If you ask a Kia Optima owner what they love about their car”, and I can’t exactly remember the other one right now, but it mentions the 5 star safety rating and IIHS top safety pick. There is a lot of legal business about targeting another certain car in a commercial – especially brands Kia is not directly competing with (BMW, Audi). Kia would sell probably 4-5,000 more Optimas per month if they had the inventory to back it up. You aren’t going to find anyone with much more passion for Kia than me, but I am also realistic about it. Look at Consumer Reports latest reliability list. Kia doesn’t need any more sales growth until they get to the top of that chart and stay there. They also realize this, and that is why they are limiting sales. Benjamin Franklin once said “If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.”

  5. All three of the commercials are constant driving footage of the Optima, as well as some pans of the interior. I haven’t been able to find them on YouTube, so for you to see it I guess I will have to record, post, link.

  6. Since Hyundai and Kia are Corporate Sibling Fraternal Twins with much of their Model Lineup, how can attribute the often differences in Ratings given to almost identical vehicles according to the coveted Consumer Reports and JD Powers Surveys? Whether or not the “twin vehicles” are built at the same HKAG Plant or different Plants be they in Korea, like Hyundai`a Ulan Mega Assembly Center where virtually (all) imported Hyundai vehicles are manufactured or across town at the Kia Sohari Assembly facility, the identical robots, paint supplier, and quality control requirements would or should be the same, yet for some odd reason Hyundai (usually) scores higher continuously in their surveys. Lets face it, (both) Consumer Reports and JD Powers have always had a negative “bias” towards Hyundai and Kia vehicles probably because of the negative image they both (earned) when first introduced back in the late 1980`s. Back (then) they were a sub-standard, crappy vehicle. Three decades have passed already and now they have both been forced to begrudgingly give credit and praise, (finally) to the Sonata and Elantra while Kia still waits as a “Brides Maid”. Toyota, Honda, and to a lessor extent Nissan could market an ugly looking monstrosity and (both Consumers Reports and JD Powers) would still be “fawning” all over them. VW who has been “bashed” for years by both those groups (still) gets more positive feedback then Hyundai or Kia. Even Ford is not immune to their fickle ratings. A few years ago, Ford was (their) darling and ranked # 3 in Quality Control and Owners Approval, a year ago they slipped to around #10 and (this year) fell close to the bottom at #23? How can a Car Manufacturer screw up that badly in just 36 months? They blame “major” problems with the roll out of their two new vehicles, their Fiesta and Focus. I own a 2011 Fiesta, have had absolutely not problems with it and I know others that feel the same way, go figure. The same can be said with most buyers of the new 2012 Focus. Sure, their automatic transmission in both these cars could shift a bit smoother and not jerk a bit like a manual transmission, but then you would`nt achieve (over) 40 MPG Highway Fuel Economy. In my humble opinion, the best advertising is “word of mouth” and what appeals to the current taste of the marketplace. Bashing Ford because there are issues with its “Sync” System which is problematic and needs some tweaking has nothing to do the the total experience of the vehicle itself. If one wants to have all this computer driven technology in their vehicles , one should expect these gadgets to crash occasionally just like their Computers do at home. Lets see with the roll out of Kia`s “UVO” system what growing pains it too may experience. You can be sure Consumer Reports and JD Powers as well as some the Automobile Magazine pundits that simply don`t like Korean vehicles and never will, will be quickly there to bring it to light.

  7. Got the call yesterday from Hollywood Kia in Hollywood, FL that a 2012 Kia Rio5 “LX” just rolled off the truck in Clear White with Beige Interior (and) has the Power Package with Carpeted Floor Mats. MSRP is $16545. Went down last night, vehicle still had the protective “plastic rap” on the Hood and Roof as well as the Blue styrofoam bumpers on the doors. Made the Deal in 30 minutes at 9:00PM last night. They gave me $5200 for my 2006 Kia Rio5 with just over 70K mileage. No DEALERS FEES either! Out the door for $11545 plus the normal fees for Tax, Tags, and Title. Hope to pick it up Wed ot Thur. I`ll Post as soon as I get to drive it home! I had (7) Kia Dealers in South FL on a standby wait list and these folks were the first to get the vehicle I was looking for. Actually, if the identical vehicle arrived with the same exterior and interior color, I would have settled for an “EX” rather then wait. Glad the “LX” arrived first so I could pocket the $800 savings. I`ll miss the Cruise Control but I`ll get my hands on the Arm Rest through the Parts Department eventually. As soon as I get the vehicle home, the Brand New 15“ Emergency Spare Tire (donut) and Jack Tool Kit I grabbed out of a 2006 Kia Rio5 in a Salvage Yard is replacing the Toy Mini-Air Compressor and can of Tire Sealant Goo in the Trunks Wheel Well. Anyone interested in buying the (kit), I`ll sell it cheap!

  8. I have never cared for Jack-in-the-Box. That’s what I miss this far east…..Carl’s Jr. East of the Mississippi, Hardees is the same thing, but it’s just not the same. Michigan doesn’t have Whataburger or Waffle House, either. *Sad Face* We have a higher concentration of Big Boy and Culver’s than western states, but Michigan doesn’t have any special regional great lakes chain restaurants. We don’t even have White Castle.

    So much for staying on topic. This would make a great off-topic discussion in the forums *hint-hint*.

  9. To add my two cents into the Off Topic Hamburger discussion, here in South FL, we don`t have Whataburger, Backyard Burgers, White Castle, Red Robin, Hardees, and have only one Krystals, located in the “Hood” in Ft Lauderdale. Lots of tasteless McDonalds, Burger Kings, Wendy`s,, and a few Checkers, a.k.a. Rally`s. We don`t even have a Zaxby`s for Chicken. Thank God we have several Popeye`s! No eating in (my) new 2012 Kia Rio5 for several months. Everyone knows that the most expensive fragrance/perfume in the World is the short lived “New Car Essence” and who wants to loose that prematurely, with the smell of greasy Burgers and Fries? Ugggg! I won`t even put Chinese Take-Out in the vehicle for a few months, LOL.

  10. I still don’t eat in my 06 Sedona with 162,000 miles. In my town we have BK, McD, KFC, A&W, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s. Culvers is 60 miles away, Arby’s is 30 miles. Anything else is 120+ miles away. I have actually found a McD’s burger I can live with. The Angus Bacon and Cheese is actually pretty good. BK’s food tastes like it was scraped off of a burnt pan.

  11. Here are the commercials I was talking about:

  12. Big Mac’s haven’t been good since about 1979, when they were a buck. Since then, McDonald’s has put some quinine water type crap on the vegetables and the Mac’s are no good.

  13. Another off topic. I was just checking out the new Lexus GS. That is ONE. HOT. RIDE. If the CH ever wants to compete with that sexy beast, it had better have a lot going for it in the looks department!! Hyundai who?

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