How Kia Motors Plans to Play Super Bowl

After its Super Bowl advertising debut last year, Kia Motors America (KMA) is returning to the big game with a fully integrated and interactive marketing campaign.

It comprises TV, digital, print, social media and in-dealership components to introduce the all-new 2011 Optima midsize sedan.

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At the center of the initiative is a new 60-second spot that will air in the first quarter of Super Bowl XLV titled “One Epic Ride.”

Kia will extend the campaign by giving away up to five Optimas through its “One Epic Contest,” which challenges consumers to solve a series of puzzles using clues provided in pre-Super Bowl and game day advertisements and social media postings.

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“2010 was a historic year for Kia, including our best-ever U.S. sales and our first Super Bowl commercial, and it was an easy decision to return to the game this year to build on the brand’s momentum with the arrival of the all-new 2011 Optima,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA.

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In addition to the spot and contest, Kia’s Super Bowl plan includes additional elements such as partnering with SocialVibe to create a Kia-branded social media game. It will provide consumers with a test drive incentive and several homepage takeover ads following the game.

In “One Epic Ride,” people across space and time — from a police officer and an international villain to aliens and an ancient chief — will go to great lengths to snatch the all-new Optima from the clutches of others and put themselves behind the wheel.

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Optima becomes an object of desire, and even Poseidon, the king of the sea, does his best to get his hands on the car.

Registration is open for Kia’s “One Epic Contest” (, which invites consumers to embark on their own adventure through an online grid-based hieroglyphic game set in an ancient temple for an opportunity to win one of five all-new 2011 Optimas.

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In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, gamers must use their wits and discover clues hidden within various media channels, including 15-second TV spots, print ads and social media postings, to answer a series of four questions.

A fifth question will be revealed the moment “One Epic Ride” airs during the Super Bowl on Feb. 6, and the answer can be found within the spot.

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Participants must correctly type the answer to each question at Upon answering all five questions correctly, a final challenging puzzle game will be revealed and the first five participants to solve the final puzzle before 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 7 will win an all-new 2011 Kia Optima.

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In addition to “One Epic Contest,” KMA has also partnered with SocialVibe to introduce the all-new Optima to over 200 million monthly social gamers as the exclusive automotive sponsor of Zynga’s “Big Game Tournament” for players across FarmVille, PetVille, Mafia Wars, and Café World.

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Available now, users are able to earn free game currency by participating in a virtual football game sponsored by the 2011 Optima with a team of characters from their favorite Zynga games.

Players will be greeted throughout game-play with interactive Kia Optima content as well as the opportunity to share the engagement with their friends through Facebook or Twitter.

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Consumers don’t have to play an online game to receive a benefit from Kia’s Super Bowl efforts. Beginning Friday, Feb. 4, consumers can download a $25 Visa pre-paid card test drive voucher at that is redeemable after eligible consumers visit a Kia dealership and complete a test drive of the 2011 Optima.

In addition to the Super Bowl campaign, the all-new 2011 Optima is featured on a Times Square billboard and recently appeared in a made-for-cinema 60-second spot titled “Sweet Dreams.”

A recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Pick” award winner, the Optima is also serving as the “Official Vehicle of the NBA” for the current basketball season.

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Consumers can test Optima through the “Experience the New Standard” test drive program at select auto shows around the country. And March 21 – 27, the Optima will be the featured vehicle during the Kia Classic LPGA golf tournament taking place at Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms in Industry Hills, Calif.

Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea.

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Rakesh Raman