Kia makes big push into experiential to ‘fight’ for people’s consideration

Kia is making its first major foray into experiential activity with a 10-day event at the Westfield shopping centre in London as it aims to bring its “irreverence and fun” side to life.

The event, which kicks off tomorrow (31 July), will see Kia promote its Soul model as part of its “Ready to roll” campaign. It will invite customers at the shopping centre to take part in activities to get them ready to go out – such as a fitness class or makeover that feature in the TV ads for the model.

The Soul hamsters from the TV ads, will also be walking around, with any customer that spots one able to bag themselves a prize. To amplify the event, Kia will also be creating content that customers can share with friends, including a photo of them going down the “Dream Chute”, a slide that offers people a different way to get from the second to the first floor of the mall without having to use the stairs or escalators.

Kia’s marketing director Mark Hopkins told Marketing Week this is the first time Kia has brought its brand to life within a consumer space, having previously focused on music festivals and events such as Goodwood. He says that it is aimed at showing off the Soul within the wider context of the Kia brand and showing off that it is a “young, vibrant and fun brand”.

“Kia needs to do all it can to get onto long and short lists. We see ourselves as a newer challenger brand in the market and we have to fight for all we can to make sure people consider us. Experiential enables us to put the car and the brand within touching distance of customers so they can get to know us and the models we make,” he adds. 

The Westfield event marks a step-up in investment in experiential for Kia as it looks to engage with people on a “grander scale”. Hopkins says Kia picked Westfield because it is a different setting to normal car events, helping to showcase Kia’s brand essence, “the power to surprise” in the UK.  

“We are being slightly different to the normal in terms of what we do and how we approach things. If we put experiential in areas where people socially gather and engage anyway we can use it to create an event but also content that can amplify the brand through social media, digital and CRM,” he says.

CRM is a key focus for Kia and it will use the Westfield event to collect information on prospective consumers. The car marque has recently appointed VCCP to ramp up its CRM activity, with Kia working with the agency to come up with a new data strategy for the car marque that will be implemented next year.

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