Concept: KIA Track’ster Aims To Toughen-Up The Brand

February 8, 2012

Kia has officially released their latest apostrophe-based vehicular concept at the Chicago Motor Show and aside from the questionable name given, one begs to understand the marketing ‘attempt’ with this new Soul-based Track’ster that looks as if its been to the gym and ingested a few too many power pellets…

Obviously, this is another one of Kia’s grand marketing gestures to connect with the more youthful and ‘street-savvy’ end of the market – y’know, bein’ hip with the aim “to make the Track’ster tough looking, like a bulldog”, according to Kia’s American design boss, Tom Kearns. Generous amounts of Apple iPod/Touch, new-age linking and general ‘nowness’ being applied to this hunkered down, brutish looking creation as well… Dare I say it looks kinda cool though…?

Where the slight confusion lies is within the concept’s boasts of being a Trackday car, further implemented by Kia’s claim that the Inferno Orange highlights of the paint are ‘perfectly suited for racing’… riiiiight they are – thank you, grabbing-at-straws American marketing department. Yet, to add to the confusion, the Track’ster (enough with the apostrophe’s..!!) comes with storage bins for helmets and a quick-release strut-brace to access the spare-wheel. It definitely leads one to wonder what sort of racetracks Kia believes actually exist out in the real world…

On the mechanical front, power comes from a 2.0L turbocharged engine churning out 250 bhp – quite a step-up from their usual game, but then that’s the whole point of this car. It’s an eye-candy spectacle aimed at stirring-up the youthful  imagination and awareness of the Kia brand in the United States, hence the ‘pumped-up and tough’ look and lines…

Like the Toyota-bred Scion brand in the US, Kia hopes to attract the modifying/tuning crowd with its concept creations and subsequent road cars. If the Track’ster concept is anything to go on, methinks they’re onto something that just might click with their targeted audience.

-Blake J.

2012 Super Bowl Car Commercials: A Collection of…

February 6, 2012

So the Big American Game happened yesterday and to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered to watch this mega-hyped sports-event where ultra-testosteroned, overly-padded/helmeted men rough one another up over the snarling possession of an inflated pig-skin… Said game occuring somewhere amidst the deluge of non-stop adverts reminding us of ‘who brought this to you’, a silly lip-synching girl flashing a middle-finger (oh good heavens) and a washed-up, embarrasingly-painful-to-watch pop-Diva strutting-up her idea of ‘the greatest show I’ve ever done for the greatest show on earth’ … Dear Lord.

Madonna - scary and unfathomable

Not forgetting the idiotic/annoying orgy of streaming banners and flashy camera angles for this ‘show of all shows’ either – Needless to say, for this scribe it’s all, well… a bit much.

Yet, as is the tradition that always outweighs and ultimately gathers more of our collective attention than the actual Game itself, the extended-length TV-spot adverts were what nearly everyone ever talks about in this TV-obsessed western world of ours. Most viewers simply tune-in to the Super Bowl broadcast just so they can catch the expensive Game-Day adverts…. Really..! Car-adverts included, of course.

Clint doing his best to inject a gritty, serious and weepingly patriotic tone to describe America's upcoming '2nd Half'

Here then, is a selection… some of them are even the extended versions!

Volkswagen – The Dog Strikes Back

KIA Optima – A Dream Car. For Real Life (really…? A wrinkly Motley Crue, in your dream…?)

 Acura NSX – Transactions

Honda CR-V – Matthew’s Day Off (not quite sure if a rather bland/boring CR-V would be the vehicle of choice here…)

Chevrolet Sonic – doing human ‘extreme’ things

Chrysler and Clint Eastwood – It’s Halftime America (bit of an anthemic heart-tugger here)

 Fiat 500 Abarth – Seduction

Lexus GS – The Beast (Lexus’ first-ever SuperBowl advert… not bad, not great)

Toyota Camry – It’s Reinvented 

 Chevy Silverado Trucks – End Of The World (quite possibly, the stupidest car-commercial I’ve ever seen – complete with an out-of-place ending stolen straight from the movie ‘Magnolia’)

Audi S7 – Vampires (riiiight…)


-Blake J.

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