Kia Gets Deep and Serious with its Super Bowl LIV Campaign

40-second teaser shines the spotlight on overcoming adversity

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Kia is always an active participant during the Super Bowl, and this year is no different. The Korean automaker has launched a 30-second teaser of its new commercial earmarked for Super Bowl LIV on February 2, 2020. Just like its previous Super Bowl commercials, Kia is taking a serious approach with this year’s ad, establishing a theme of “overcoming adversity to achieve the impossible dream.” The all-new Kia Stelvos is the star of the commercial, though the 30-second teaser made no mention of the new crossover. All shall be revealed, though, when the 60-second commercial airs sometime in the third quarter of the title game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.

Serious tones have been Kia’s thing

Whereas most commercials you see in the Super Bowl are injected with humor, Kia is taking the alternative approach with its Super Bowl LIV ad. The 30-second teaser features a young boy sitting in a podium, telling a crowd of reporters why he runs. The teaser is about as vague as it can get — that’s why it’s a teaser — and Kia doesn’t reveal the reasons why the young boy is running or what he’s running for. Even the Kia Seltos, which is set to star in the actual 60-second commercial doesn’t make an appearance in the commercial. I suppose that’s the whole point of the 30-second teaser. It leaves you with more questions than answers. Let it be said, though. Kia’s string of “serious” commercials for the Super Bowl will continue this year.

Recent Kia Super Bowl Ads

Last year, Kia’s Super Bowl commercial starred the Telluride SUV and the people of West Point, Georgia. The whole point of the commercial was to shine a light on the small town’s obscurity and the goal of its people to become famous for what it makes: the Telluride SUV.

Two years ago, Kia tapped Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler to star in its commercial for the Stinger GT. It wasn’t a pull-the-heartstrings type of commercial, but it did invoke a serious tone of its own, telling viewers that the Stinger GT would make them “feel something again.” I suppose it worked for Tyler because, at the end of the commercial, he looked about 30 years younger with the help of CGI.

2017 was the last time Kia took the humorous route with its Super Bowl commercials when it tapped comedian Melissa McCarthy to star in a commercial featuring the Kia Niro Hybrid. In the ad, McCarthy is thrust into the role of an eco-warrior determined to use her fame to save the wheels, the trees, the ice caps, and the rhinos. Unfortunately, all her efforts went for naught, but at least she always had the Niro Hybrid to fall back to.

It’s the Seltos’ time to shine

2021 Kia Seltos Picture Gallery
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Look close and you will notice a design inspired by the Telluride

Despite not being present in the 30-second teaser, the Kia Seltos should have plenty of screen time when the 60-second commercial airs during the third quarter of the Super Bowl. Kia has made it a habit to feature its newest model in its Super Bowl ads, and this year, it’s the Seltos’ time to shine.

2021 Kia Seltos Picture Gallery
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And the exhaust system feature dual pipes connected by chrome trim

The all-new crossover was unveiled at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, and it’s scheduled to hit the market sometime this year. Once it does, it’s going to compete in a crowded and competitive segment that includes stalwarts like the Nissan Kicks, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and its own cousin, the Hyundai Venue.

2021 Kia Seltos Picture Gallery
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The cabin has been crafted with meticulous attention to give the Seltos a more luxurious stance

The Seltos should have no problems ingratiating itself in the market. In addition to boasting a clean and fresh design, the Seltos comes with a choice of two engines. The first is a 2.0-liter MPI four-cylinder unit that produces 146 horsepower while the more powerful version comes with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 175 horsepower. Five trim options will be available; the LX, S, and EX trims will come with the 2.0-liter unit and an Intelligent Variable Transmission while the upper-tier S and SX models will be powered by the turbocharged four-banger. The latter will also come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All that power can be transferred to either the two front wheels or all four wheels.

Kia hasn’t released pricing details for the Seltos, but it is expected that the all-new crossover will carry a starting price of below $22,000.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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