Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Kia's epic fail tells us something about engagement

Okay if you can stand watching the ad, why is it that the woman of today, so connected, smart, and engaged would drive a Kia again?  Traditionally woman sat on the top of cars in ads, bringing the woman forward like this but still making her a passive recipient of the car, and the audience a passive consumer of the ad and brand, just does not work.

I have not been able to get through this entire commercial.  It is perhaps one of the worst ads ever made.  Its a train wreak inflicted on Australia's tennis fans and simply because it is so bad it has gone viral.

But there is something deeper to learn about this ad.  Kia epic fail is not just that they have made an annoying ad, but that they have shown something about how consumer are changing, and how traditional brands are going to find it hard to meet these changes.

The ad, for all its trite BS, does address a very obvious change in consumers: the desire for engagement.  People are looking more for social connection, for engagement, for discourse and community.  This is showing in the growing politicalisation of social media like Twitter: people are looking for connection and community rather than just things.

The problem with this ad is the moronic way that Kia is trying to connect to this change in the consumer.  The consumer desire to connection, to interact, to be engaged, to expand identity and become more political is simply stamped on to a stupid car ad.  

This is the hope of most brands.  They see consumer becoming more community conscious, more engaged and political and they hope they can just hire an ad firm that will created a viral message that this new kind of consumer will love.  

Brands have to understand that the new consumer is seeking a newer form of engagement.  This does not necessarily mean a real engagement, but at the least it has to be perceived as a sincere engagement by the company.  Take Apple during the last years of Jobs or Google in the past.

If you are going to try and connect with the new consumer, like this ad fails to, you need make it seem like there is an engagement.  

1 comment:

  1. You're talking about this AD.
    Ergo - more Kia views.
    It worked.

    Angry of East Cheam