Twenty-nine years ago this November, Bo Jackson blew through Brian Bosworth on his way to a classic touchdown run on Monday Night Football. Now Kia is reliving the moment Tecmo Bowl-style in a new campaign for the Sorento SUV.
The campaign by Kia agency-of-record David&Goliath mixes live action with a recreation of the classic 1980s-era Tecmo game. A 30-second spot called "Tecmo Bros" recreates the famous Bosworth-Jackson matchup. But in Kia's version, Mr. Jackson is driving a Sorento. And instead of plowing over Mr. Bosworth, he picks him up for a ride.
Another spot shows Mr. Jackson driving a Sorento 100 yards for a touchdown. The campaign will make its TV debut during NBC's "Sunday Night Football" broadcast this weekend.
"At Kia, we are always looking to stand out, and using the Sorento to take football fans inside a beloved video game and bring two legendary players roaring back in all their 8-bit glory was an opportunity that was simply too good to pass up," Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and exec VP, Kia Motors America, said in a statement. "Sunday Night Football has been the top-rated primetime show for five straight years, and after our football-themed advertising helped push Sorento sales up more than 13% in 2015, returning this year was a no-brainer."
Kia is entering its third year as presenting sponsor of the pre-kick and kickoff shows that air immediately before "Sunday Night Football."
In the real-life Nov. 30 1987 game, Mr. Jackson ran for 221 yards, in what ESPN called a night that marked the "birth of Bo and the end of the Boz," according to a 2015 retrospective.
Meanwhile, Hyundai today announced its football-themed campaign that spotlights fan passion. One spot, called "Fishing Trip," shows a Miami Dolphins fan whose wife informs him that the couple will be taking her parents out on their boat on Sunday. Worried that the event will interfere with his football viewing, he promptly gets in his Elantra, drives to the dock and sets the boat free.
Another ad for the Hyundai Santa Fe features a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and his beloved yellow fan towel. The agency is Innocean USA.
Hyundai is an official NFL sponsor, a distinction it now shares with Ford, which announced its own deal yesterday.