For the Super Bowl Commercial, I chose to do the 2014 Kia K900 Super Bowl ad. During this ad, a couple is leaving their fancy hotel to have a fancy evening for their date, noted by their fancy attire. As they approach to pick up their car from the front desk, Morpheus from the Matrix movie franchise is there to hand them their keys. However, he has two sets of keys from which to choose from. One is for what he calls “standard luxury” while the other is for a luxury they have never experienced before. The couple chooses the keys from the new car, which is the Kia K900. As they drive Morpheus joins them and discusses what luxury is supposed to feel and sound like. He then begins to sing in Italian opera as the road they drive on slowly explodes as they drive off into the night.
Kia is a car company that has been around since 1944 and is one of the oldest car manufacturers of motor vehicles. They at first started making bicycles and motorcycles but as the generations went on they developed into a car company. They have a network of distributors and dealers covering over 180 countries worldwide and is still a leading force in car companies today. They are a South Korean company, not originating in the United States similar to Toyota which manufactures their cars from Japan. Some of their goals are to become the world’s leading automotive brands but as competition increases, they aren’t struggling but they feel the need to change.
Adding to this need of “change” not only with cars but with their consumers, Kia recently has been shifting and fundamentally altering the way in which consumers perceive their cars and their company as a whole. At first Kia’s cars were perceived as dull-looking vehicles, and being non-luxurious. Many car companies however believe that upscale buyers want cars that are upscale and have cutting edge designs. With Kia’s goal on the line, they felt the need to attract the “younger generation” who want to increase their own image. Jack Nerad, editorial director for Kelley Blue Book states that “It marks a new direction for the brand”, and this was part of their reason to showcase their new car in a Super Bowl ad. An event that millions of fans witness every year.
As for the economics of the Kia, Kia has been steadily improving since the early 2000s. A statistic showed that by the end of 1999 they had increased their production and net profit to $655 million. Their debt also had reduced from 370 percent to 170 percent while their auto sales had increased 59.3 percent and are still growing. Because of this success, it shows that by Kia focusing on the “young stylish consumer” and not solely on the more mature consumer their sales had drastically improved. As of 2015 they spend 17 percent to $649 million on advertising.
As for the 2014 Super Bowl ad, it of course strongly shows the company’s efforts in making their new cars seem as luxurious as possible. Throughout the ad, it is constantly mentioned and said by everyone in the ad. Not only this, but the couple in the commercial seem to have some money, looking very nice and having an image. This adds to the want of the new Kia car because it makes, the younger audience, want to look and feel good. If you drive this car you can be luxurious, and it gives the consumer the illusion that they will look as nice as the people in this ad.
For the psychoanalysis in this ad, many associate opera with being luxurious or elegant in some way. Not only this but by using stunning visual effects and an icon from a classic movie, it draws the attention to the consumer very well. As for the Semiotics or “social meaning” the demographic of the Matrix is actually the audience that they are aiming for. Young adults starting from the ages of 18 to their late 20s. This audience watching the Super Bowl would see this Kia ad and immediately recognize who Morpheus is and would find it interesting to see him in a car commercial promoting sales and knowledge of the car. Morpheus is also a symbol in this commercial because he represents what your path of luxury will lead you, being this car.
Kia wanted to show how they are always changing and trying to understand the demographic they are targeting. By creating a Matrix car commercial, it shows that they know who their audience is and they are trying to compete with other companies. This success again is proven by their increase in sales throughout the years and the amount they spend on advertising.