IRVINE, Calif. — With the 2012-13 NBA season about to tip off, Kia Motors’ global brand ambassador, superstar Blake Griffin, is back in a series of humorous new television commercials featuring the fast-growing automaker’s best-selling Optima midsize sedan and innovative UVO voice-activated infotainment system. In the five 30-second spots, Griffin offers helpful suggestions to younger versions of himself as Kia’s UVO voice-activated infotainment system takes his futuristic Optima on a time-traveling musical journey through the mid-1990s and early-2000s. Griffin’s deadpan delivery and dry sense of humor shines in the first two commercials as he urges younger versions of himself to forget about playing football and spend more time practicing free throws in another spot.
Beginning this week, the first two commercials – titled “Free Throw” (circa 1995) and “Football” (circa 1997), will debut on television with three additional spots scheduled to roll out throughout the NBA season, along with a presence on all Kia social and digital platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Kia.com.
“Blake turned people’s heads after his famous dunk over a Kia Optima in the Sprite® Slam Dunk contest at NBA All-Star 2011, and his on-court talent combined with his unique comedic style and personality have translated into a powerful partnership that has helped raise awareness and brand perception for Kia,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. “Griffin is one of the most exciting and recognizable young athletes in the world, and this latest campaign pairs Griffin’s basketball wisdom and athleticism with the youthful style, performance and cutting-edge technology of our wildly popular Optima midsize sedan and the award-winning UVO infotainment system.”
Created by David&Goliath, KMA’s advertising agency of record, the Griffin spots were helmed by renowned director Paul Hunter, who directed last year’s commercials featuring Griffin and is credited with award-winning spots for Nike and Burger King. “Free Throw” and “Football” are available now at YouTube.com/Kia, and will make their television debuts tomorrow on network and cable programming.
About Blake Griffin
Selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers, Blake Griffin took the NBA by storm in his rookie season and broke records every step of the way. Known for his high-flying dunks and unwavering physicality, Griffin competed on the 2011 NBA All-Star Team, the first rookie All-Star voted to the game by coaches since Tim Duncan in 1998. He won the 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk contest, participated in the NBA All-Star Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, and was named the 2010-11 NBA Rookie of the Year. A highlight reel sensation equipped with the size, strength, quickness and skill to keep his household name buzzworthy for many years to come, Griffin has transformed the Clippers into a must-watch franchise. A native of Oklahoma City, Okla., the 6’9″ power forward attended the University of Oklahoma, where he was one of the highest rated and most decorated recruits in Sooners history. A media magnet, Griffin already has earned numerous accolades, including the Oscar Robertson Trophy, Adolph Rupp Trophy, John Wooden Award, Naismith Award, Sports Illustrated Player of the Year, multiple NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors and many more; for more information go to www.blakegriffin.com or follow him at @blakegriffin.
About the 2013 Kia Optima
With a luxury appearance and a refined interior, the 2013 Optima is available in three trims, LX, EX and SX, and offers a wide array of convenience and luxury as well as impressive technology features like an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SiriusXM Traffic™ Satellite Radio capabilities and three months complimentary service, auxiliary and USB audio input jacks, standard Bluetooth® wireless connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls, and Kia’s new UVO powered by Microsoft® voice-activated infotainment system. Available with three powerful and fuel-efficient engines, a 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder, a 2.0-liter GDI turbo or a 2.4-liter hybrid that achieves up to 40 miles per gallon on the highway, the stylish and performance-oriented midsize sedan begins at $21,200 for 2013.
Kia’s Unprecedented Growth
Kia Motors is one of the world’s fastest moving global automotive brands; from 2009-2011 Kia launched more new vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, and under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer earned a reputation as an industry leader in automotive styling. Kia Motors America’s full line of fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive cars and CUVs has earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In 2011, KMA recorded its 17th consecutive year of market share growth, thanks in part to the largest increase of any major brand in perceived quality and the industry’s highest brand loyalty ranking. Kia’s U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia – KMMG – is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and builds two of the company’s best-selling vehicles in the U.S. – the Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan*. Kia’s value and technology-laden lineup also includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official Automotive Partner” of the NBA and LPGA. In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX Trims and certain LX Trims only) and GDI Turbo are built in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts. Sirius services require subscriptions, sold separately after 3-month trial included with vehicle purchase/lease. Subscriptions governed by SiriusXM Customer Agreement at siriusxm.com© 2011 SiriusXM Radio Inc. Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of SiriusXM Radio Inc.  The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Kia is under license. Other trademarks and tradenames are those of their respective owners. A compatible Bluetooth® wireless technology enabled cell phone is required to use Bluetooth® wireless technology.  EPA estimated 24 city /34 highway MPG. Actual mileage will vary.  EPA estimated 22 city / 34 highway MPG. Actual mileage will vary.  EPA estimated MPG for Optima Hybrid.  MSRP for Optima LX, excludes $775 destination and handling fee, title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.  Source: Automotive Lease Guide Spring 2011 Perceived Quality Study.  Source: Experian Automotive Q2 2011 market analysis.  Based on 5-year cumulative growth between 12-month retail sales for periods ending September 2007 and September 2012 of all U.S. automotive brands.
SOURCE Kia Motors America