If you haven’t noticed what Kia is doing in the technology, music and sports scene you’re probably living in a cave or are over 50 years old. Kia, a brand that recently celebrated its 25th anniversary as an automotive brand, still “has a ways to go” in terms of being on the radar of mainstream consumers, says CMO Michael Sprague.
But Kia is making progress with Millennials by talking their language and integrating relevant technology into the vehicles strategically designed and priced for this segment.
Sprague is no stranger to the automotive industry. In fact, he’s a legacy kid with generations of kin in the biz and roots in The Motor City. So why is he bucking the conservative route and investing in YouTube? Here are three reasons:
1. Kia has a seeding strategy.
The strategy is similar to Apple giving elementary schools computers and Nike supporting high school sports. Although Kia has been involved in some high profile events, like the the World Cup, Super Bowl, etc., Kia is a challenger brand. They are also embedding the brand in unique spaces where they can seed the market to younger audiences, such as the covertly popular Vidcon video conference. These are not only their future buyers but possible content collaborators.
2. Kia creates content where its current and future audience already spends time.
Popular hamsters not withstanding, Kia knows kids and twenty-something’s watch a lot of YouTube videos. They are tapping into a community that loves to watch music, sports- and even wacky hamsters who have swag.
3. YouTube stars have more clout than TV or movie peeps.
In a survey published last year in Variety, “found the five most influential figures among Americans ages 13-18 are all YouTube faves, eclipsing mainstream celebs including Jennifer Lawrence and Seth Rogen. The highest-ranking figures were Smosh, the online comedy team of Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla, both 26.”
Watch this full episode of Behind the Brand with Kia’s CMO Michael Sprague to learn some of Kia’s best marketing secrets.