By on May 29, 2010

The first Kia Soul hamster ad was good, but this latest one takes the same humor and message and blows the lid off the concept. Between this and the recent Challenger ad, 2010 is shaping up to be a good year for car advertising.

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25 Comments on “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Hamster...”

  • avatar

    Paging Mr. Richard Hammond… a Mr. Richard Hammond…

  • avatar

    OK, that was cool, and this is from someone way out of the target demographic. Auto advertisements do seem to be getting pretty interesting and innovative. I’m even liking some of the (I think) web only oddness that’s being put out.

    Like Subaru’s fire drill:

    And the Mazda Wild Child (“Closed slot track. Do not attempt”):

  • avatar

    I too am way out of the target demographic, but the hamster one was fun to watch even with the terrible music. ;)

    I don’t get the Subaru ad at all. What’s the significance of the stop sign and walking all around the car? The dogs didn’t switch positions or anything, which was a game for people when I was in college.

    The Mazda one was great. Absolutely great, especially for anybody who had a slot car set when they were a kid!

    • 0 avatar

      That’s funny. I was ready to roll my eyes at this trite Alvin and the Chipmunks style of urban modernization crap, but I thought the music made the commercial. Great ad.

  • avatar

    I HATE hip-hop.

    I DETEST the urban hip-hop so-called culture.

    I loved that commercial.

    • 0 avatar

      what did Hip Hop ever do to you?

    • 0 avatar


    • 0 avatar

      Why? Because I have more respect for a untalented punk band, who actually attempted to play instruments. No matter what the final result. As far as I’m concerned, reciting bad poetry to scratching records is as far from culture as one can get.

      Oh yeah, any ‘culture’ that puts a premium on emulating the life of a convict doesn’t exactly impress me. Nothing like willingly being a failure, just so you’re not copying whiteys ideas of success.

    • 0 avatar

      …reciting bad poetry to scratching records is as far from culture as one can get.

      I used to think this.

      Then I went to a rap battle and watched these guys actually work and, you know what, they’re really good at what they do. You need a level of verbal and mental agility that’s way, way beyond what most people can pull. It’s certainly way above the average indie bands’ banging two chords over and over and over again.

      Want to be even more impressed? Watch the guys who can beatbox as well.

      The problem is that people who don’t like hip-hop never see this side of it. We only see the, ahem, cream that’s floated to the top. Some of the people who have hit it big (Eminem being a recent example, but there are others) are genuinely talented. Unfortunately, for every Eminem or Chuck D there’s a Kris Kross or any one of a zillion studio-backed pretty-boys and -girls who do very little than crunch lyrics to a tape loop.

      Hip-hop, by the way, is not unique, the first, nor the worst in this respect.

    • 0 avatar


      If you’re going to paint hip-hop with a broad brush of “gangsta-rap” and scratching, then, buddy, your concept of hip-hop is 10 to 15 years in the past, at least. If you bother to look past what Bill O’Reilly rails against, you’d understand that most of what’s out there is all about “the party,” whether rapped or sung. Hip-hop (both rap and R&B), Rock ‘n Roll, Salsa, hell, even most of the Top 40, is mostly about the party. I just hope you share the same indignation for the anti-establishment theme found in a lot of “white” music, then, maybe, I can respect your position.

    • 0 avatar

      I would agree much of it is garbage. But there is some seriously excellent examples of talented rap out there. Digital Undergound was awesome, early Public Enemy was great, Wordburgler and Buck 65 are great current Canadian acts and the Beastie Boys of course. To get a good idea of what GREAT Turntablism is listen to Kid Koala (scratched on the first Gorillaz album). He put out an awesome album comprised entirely of scratching sound effects records.

  • avatar

    @ Syke — ditto on all the three counts.

    I love the (recent?) trend showing the driver aggressively shifting gears no matter if it’s a manual, auto, or even a hybrid drivetrain. Every other commercial has some fuel efficient car being driven by someone who apparently likes slamming the thing into “D” and making another 10-second 0-60 run.

    Me? I’m a sucker for advertising good engineering. Did they put a special coating on 2nd gear’s snycrho to make it smoother? Is the engine tweaked in some nerdy way to make .6 more hp? I love that kind of stuff. Too bad it will never really be that common to show it.

  • avatar

    This advertisement was as surprisingly good as Kia’s most recent products. The power to surprise, indeed.

  • avatar

    Be careful there Kia. The Soul isn’t that far from being an appliance either.

  • avatar

    Absolutely love the Hamster ads. Thought it was great for Kia when they first came out.

    Thing is, now when I see a Soul on the road and look at the people behind the wheel, all I see are…rats.

  • avatar

    It’s hitting it’s demographic. I showed it to my high school aged son and he told me that his friends had been talking about the ad at school. There’s also some buzz about the ad on various music sites.

    They’re doing a great job selling to the youth market and to kids that aren’t even driving yet. They listen to hip-hop and pay attention to cute hamsters and sock monkeys. They may not be old enough to drive or buy cars yet, but when it’s time they’ll remember.

    I liked the little reference to “plug-ins” with the electric toaster dragging it’s power cord along. I guess they forgot to detach the cord from the toaster before driving away. Plug-in owners take note.

  • avatar

    It’s only by the third or fourth hamster that the kid doesn’t kill the thing by squeezing it too hard, and even then it only lives a couple of years.

    I’m not sure this is a smart parallel to draw.

  • avatar

    “Target Demographic” is awfully sneaky here – Cute animated rodents certainly cover a wide spread from tween to senior citizen, potentially more female than male. Of course, the anti-appliance sentiment has it’s own reach into a variety of buying groups – potentially more male than female. While it features hip hop, “The Choice is Yours” by Black Sheep isn’t remotely close to the current state of hip hop – it’s a 20 year old song from a very different time and place from the current commercial mainstream, so it strikes a (potentially profound) chord with people anywhere from 30-45 who remember it fondly from their school days. It’s also pretty clever. Not as much as the “How Ya Like Me Now?” super-bowl ad, but that’s just my opinion. Either way – well done.

    • 0 avatar
      John R

      +1. Bang on observation. I’m 29 and I’ve watched this thing upwards of 10 times. I loved that Black Sheep when I younger.

      “‘The Choice is Yours’ by Black Sheep isn’t remotely close to the current state of hip hop”

      Yeah. It’s back when it was good…sigh…

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, the younger kids are very much aware of the older music. My daughter is a dancer and the instructors have exposed them to it. Then again, because the kids have to actually dance to the music and it has to be played at a public recital probably skews their choice in music. She’s in high school and definitely liked the tune in the ad.

      Anyway, my high school aged kids and their friends really love the ad. They’ve actually been talking about it and they never pay attention to car ads.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ll agree. This ad absolutely nails it’s intended demographic, and you’re right that said demographic is much older than some might suspect. I’ll say it bagged me right away.

      Kia’s being smart, here: pitching to 20-year olds isn’t going to work as that group, frankly, has no money, or if they do, they aren’t looking at Kias. Pitching to thirtysomethings who can quite clearly remember what it was like to be twenty, but who are making Kia money, works really well.

  • avatar

    Now if you want to see a totally bitchin’ Nissan Ad, here you go:

  • avatar

    That just happened! What a rocking, fun ad. I like that they are promoting their product while calling out all of their competitors at he same time. This braggadocio (sp?) is very hip-hop and the whole chest-puffery thing is just a good time.

    I am 41 and fondly remember clubs packed with people all bouncing to that awesome Black Sheep song, so yes, I agree they have keenly stuck a chord with the 35-45 yr old crowd with this choice.
    Keep up the fine work ladies and gentlemen.

    Ford- maybe you should have the agency swing by for a coffee….

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