The 2014 Kia Soul Hamster Commercial is directed to young adults and begins with three overweight hamsters in human form, attempting to get fit. While the commercial displays their montage of workouts and Lady Gaga’s new hit single “Applause” plays in the background, the perspective alternates between the hamsters and the car designer. This car designer appears to be designing the new 2014 Kia Soul. Once the hamsters and car are ready, they make an appearance on the Red Carpet and dazzle the crowd.
Why hamsters? There are many species of hamsters, but Kia chose the golden hamster, which is the most common hamster pet according to the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. These hamsters are “small (4” to 7”), short-tailed rodents with large cheek pouches, small eyes and a variety of appealing coat colors” . The golden hamster is an ideal image of what attracts and triggers the part of the human brain that causes someone to want something. This Kia commercial is attempting to create a feeling in the audience of adults to want the car like they want the hamsters.
Lady Gaga’s song, “Applause,” is upbeat and creates energy in its listeners. The momentum pushes the audience and forces them to interact leading to a higher chance of taking action towards the new Kia Soul. Not only does the beat play with the listeners, but also Lady Gaga in general has an effect on the world. Ruth Blatt, a contributor of Forbes, has a passion for music and she claims “Lady Gaga’s unusually strong bond with her fans is one of the reasons she is the highest-ranked musician in Forbes’ list of most powerful celebrities”. Lady Gaga has fans whom love her and because her music is in this commercial, she has a large impact on the audience listening and watching this.
The song states, “I live for the applause” , connecting the hamsters with the car. The hamsters represent the car and they both are perfecting their looks in order to make an appearance on the Red Carpet. They are doing it for their audience and they want the love. The car is being constructed to best fit its buyers. That is all it is made for; the applause.
This commercial is more entertaining than informing. It provides the comical scenario of the hamsters working out, but it does not have any information on the car itself. Why is this? The commercial only informs the audience that the car is completely different from previous models. Kia is more focused on entertaining their audience rather than informing them and this could be from the fact that their new Kia Soul is actually not anything better than other cars. A website that does reviews on cars complains that the 2014 Kia soul has great features at a low price, however “it lacks the refined handling of some of its rivals” .
In the end of the video, the Kia Soul is presented in the color green . Color is a major part of the marketing business. Choosing the correct color for your audience has a great impact. Judy Scott-Kemmis has studied color psychology for over 29 years and has created a website about colors. She provides information about which gender finds what colors more appealing. She indicates that both genders find the color green appealing and it is also “the color of balance and harmony” . Since the audience of this commercial is directed to both young male and female adults, green gives them the calmest feeling and causes them to lean towards the car.
This commercial does a fantastic job entertaining its audience and from experience, I know that many people enjoy the way Kia implements human-like hamsters into their commercials. Although it gets people talking about the 2014 Kia Soul, which is great and exactly what Kia wants to happen, the commercial fails to inform its audience on the actual features of the car.
However, the more people talk about this commercial, the more people will want to watch it and in result, the higher the chance of people buying their “totally transformed” , Kia Soul. People will do research on this car and maybe find something they like about it. Kia has made hamster commercials in the past and people obviously love them since they still make the commercials now.
Blatt, Ruth. “For Love Or For Money? The Meaning Behind Lady Gaga’s
‘Applause’.” 20 August 2013. Forbes.com. 11 October 2013 .
Gaga, Lady. “Applause.” ARTPOP. New York City, 2013.
Kia. “2014 Kia Soul Commercial.” 22 August 2013. youtube.com. 11 October 2013 .
Purdue University. Care of Hamsters. 11 October 2013 .
Scott-Kemmis, Judy. The Color Green. 2009. 11 October 2013 .