A few days ago Kia released a teaser for its Super Bowl spot showing Christopher Walken in a "Walken Closet." Now we know what he was doing in there -- trying to convince a boring, beige-suit-and-sock-wearing man to add some "pizzazz" to his life.
In an extended version of the ad released today, Mr. Walken uses sock puppet theater to pitch the KiaOptima sedan. In his right hand he wears a colorful sock that devours a beige sock in his other hand before comparing the Optima to "the world's most exciting pair of socks."
The ad -- which will run as a 60-second spot in the game -- is by David&Goliath and directed by Matthijs Van Heijningen of MJZ.
"No one is cooler or as instantly recognizable as Christopher Walken, and on advertising's biggest stage Kia is out to show the world the all-new Optima delivers a level of refinement and sophistication unlike anything else in the midsize segment," Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and executive VP for Kia MotorsAmerica, said in a statement.
As part of the campaign, Kia partnered with sock marketer Stance and Influential, which is described as a "mobile-first influencer platform." Influential used IBMWatson's Personality Insights API to identify so-called social media influencers based on factors like how their personalities fit the Kia brand personality, according to a Kia statement. In recent weeks, 100 of these influencers were given a pair of colorful Stance socks. They were "encouraged to share how they 'add pizzazz' to their lives on their social media channels," Kia stated. The content was integrated into Kia's Tumblr page.
The article also appears on Adage.com.