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The latest TV campaign for Kia represents (as far as I know) a new tactic for the automotive industry: using online reviews in TV ads. 

The ad encourages viewers to head online and check out the positive reviews for its models, and is an innovative tactic, for the automotive industry at least. 

Kia's ad contains several commendable aspects, including strong calls to action, and an impressive mobile landing page... 

Here's the TV ad: 

What does Kia get right? 

The ad campaign, in its transition from TV to internet, contains some excellent features which other marketers could learn from. 

Strong calls to action

People are increasingly using internet devices, or have them to hand, while watching TV. Indeed, our recent Multi-Screen Marketer report found that 52% of respondents were likely to be using another device while watching TV. 

With each screen added to the mix, that proportion rises, with 60% of smartphone users (three screens) and 65% of tablet owners (four screens) saying that multi-device use is the norm for them while watching TV.

Kia recognises the importance of these trends, and has designed its TV ad to account for and take advantage of this trend. 

For example, the voiceover in the ad invites viewers to head online to check out the reviews of its cars, while the URL is clearly shown at the end of the ad: 

Landing pages

Desktop

The ad invites people to head to Kia.co.uk. However, I imagine that most people will simply type the brand name into Google, which will get you to the same page.

In addition, typing 'Kia reviews' into a search engine will take you to a dedicated landing page on the site. 

The landing page reinforces and echoes the TV ad content:

Mobile landing page 

65% of smartphone users from our Multiscreen trends report say it’s very common that sites don’t work well for their device

However, they are still using their mobiles to respond to ads, while tablet owners are significantly more likely to use their mobile devices to take an action sparked by something they’re watching.

This means it's important for landing pages to work on whatever device customers choose to respond on. Having searched on my mobile, I'm impressed by the fact that the site has been designed for mobile, and looks pretty good: 


It's easy to navigate and interact with the site, and this makes it far more likely that TV viewers will follow up the ad. 

Use of reviews

Consumer reviews are a very powerful sales driver, yet the automotive industry seems to have been slow to use them.

I've argued the case for reviews in the past, as a car is a massive purchase for most people, and one which is likely to include plenty of viewing of reviews. 

This will happen anyway, so it makes perfect sense for automotive brands to include these reviews on their own sites, as this removes the need for potential customers to head elsewhere. 

Even better, Kia has put reviews at the heart of its ad campaign, which is a smart move. Of course, it helps that most of the reviews are positive: 

There are a few negatives too which, of course, helps to reinforce trust in the good reviews. Here, someone's Kia Rio has gone wrong after three weeks, though the customer still gives it a decent score. 

Conclusion

It's a smart TV ad for an automotive brand which takes account of user trends in mobile and tablet use, has strong calls to action, and looks to harness the power of online reviews. 

Will it shift more Kias? Who knows, but there are certainly some useful lessons for other automotive brands here... 

Graham Charlton

Published 15 January, 2013 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (2)

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Pattie Jarmaine

I think KIA has taken marketing back to when people bought from friends. I recall my father would speake to his mates about what car to buy what fishing gear to get, or where to go on vacation. Let's face it people buy through word of mouth. Just like many of the products that are sold at home like Avon, you get to hear what your friends like and their friends.

KIA's marketing was based on social proof, and there is nothing better to sell product than social proof.

almost 4 years ago

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Deborah Harris, DeborahSusanHarris8@gmail.com at Unemployed

I think that providing positive recommendations from real people provides a strong recommendation for any product.

about 1 year ago

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