TV viewers will see a lot of Kia Motors America Inc. in November.
The carmaker will buy a big chunk of time next month on national network and cable TV. It bought about 300 30-second spots that will air over two 10-day periods starting Nov. 1. The first commercial aired Oct. 11.
Kia's 1999 spending in measured media will be 'pretty close to double' the $56.2 million the company spent last year, said Jim Sanfilippo, vice president of marketing.
The carmaker sold 100,640 cars and trucks through September, a 52.5 percent increase from a year ago.
Dick Macedo, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Kia, predicted the brand could reach up to 125,000 sales in 1999. He said Kia now has 550 dealers, up from 480 at the end of 1998. Most of the new dealers are in smaller markets.
Ad agency Goldberg Moser O'Neill in San Francisco created four commercials, two each for the Sephia car and the Sportage sport-utility. The spots retain Kia's irreverent humor.
The Pisner quintuplets of Wash-ington appear in a Sephia commercial. To mark the quints' 16th birthday, Kia gave them a car for three months to test its durability with teens.
In the spot, a Kia staffer arrives at the quints' home with a birthday cake and keys to the car. The teens splatter the cake in his face while grabbing the keys and charging for the Sephia.
An upcoming Sportage spot pokes fun at the car-based competition. It shows an assembly line at a toy factory, with car bodies and sport-utility bodies being put on chassis. It touts the Sportage as a 'real SUV.'
Macedo said, 'Advertising has always been a very central component to our success.'
Dealer Charlie Shuman agreed. Said Shuman, owner of Charlie's Motor Mall Inc. in Augusta, Maine: 'The advertising is doing a great job of driving traffic in.'