"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, said.
Kia's digital work was being conducted by Animated Designs, a small interactive agency based in Westlake Village, Calif., that Kia has now outgrown.
"Our aspirations are to be a tier-one, major player," Mr. Schoonover added.
Most immediately, Kia is looking to have Denuo improve the user experience on its various web portals and make it easier for customers to research Kia vehicles online. For the long-term, Denuo has been tasked with thinking about the role internet-enabled cars will play in the lives of consumers.
Mr. Schoonover said the goal is to create "universal connectivity" between Kia's cars and consumers' various web-enabled devices. The first phase of this process will involve bringing features similar to OnStar to Kia vehicles.
Kia will retain its creative agency David & Goliath -- the shop behind Kia's memorable Blake Griffin and hamsters ads -- for the creative on display ads. Denuo will will then target and serve those banner ads while media agency Initiative will do the media buying.