Kia picks new agency to improve digital presence
Kia Motors America said today it has picked a new digital ad agency to revamp its online presence while the brand boosts spending on Internet and mobile marketing.
Kia tapped Publicis Groupe-owned Denuo as its digital agency of record after bidding that took six months.
Kia wants Denuo to improve the user experience of Kia’s Web portals and make it easier for customers to research Kia vehicles online. Kia said the agency has started redesigning Kia.com to feature more video, images and other creative content. Denuo also will work on Kia’s in-store kiosks, mobile apps and social media efforts.
Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing for Kia Motors America, said in an interview this week that Kia will boost spending on digital work in 2013, but he declined to give details.
Kia wants to capitalize on what Sprague says is the growing number of consumers using smartphones and tablets to research vehicles.
“We’re seeing a shift from people using our traditional Kia.com Web site to using our mobile Web site,” Sprague said. “Our mobile traffic is growing every month.”
Denuo, which has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, was one of 17 agencies that competed for Kia’s business. Kia’s digital work was being handled by Animated Designs, a small interactive agency in Westlake Village, Calif.
“It really came down to three different pieces: [Denuo’s] strategic business foresight, their technology and their experience,” Kia’s national digital marketing manager, Dave Schoonover, told Advertising Age, an affiliate of Automotive News.
“Our aspirations are to be a Tier 1 major player,” Schoonover said.
For the long term, Denuo has been tasked with considering the role Internet-enabled cars will play in consumers’ lives. Schoonover said the goal is to create “universal connectivity” between Kia’s vehicles and consumers’ Web-enabled devices.
Kia will retain its creative agency, David & Goliath, which created Kia’s hamster commercials and recent spots featuring Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin -- for the creative on display ads. Media agency Initiative will do the media buying.
John McDermott is a reporter for Advertising Age, an affiliate of Automotive News.
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