60-second ad promises "a heroic and harrowing" adventure

Comedienne Melissa McCarthy is one of the funniest women in Hollywood these days, so if an automaker really wanted to make a comedic splash with its Super Bowl commercial, having McCarthy in the fold is a good way to get that done. Give credit then to Kia for understanding that because McCarthy is headlining Kia’s contribution to the NFL’s advertisement pot of gold where she will be joined by the the Niro, Kia’s latest offering into the hybrid market.

Obviously, the spectacle of Super Bowl commercials has gotten so big that 60-second ads are getting their own 15-second teasers now. That’s exactly the instance we see here as Kia’s trailer reveals nothing other than McCarthy, decked in full explorer/treasure hunter get-up, running away from something. We don’t know that “something” is at this point, but it could very well be a villainous, gas-guzzling rig of a machine like something you’d see in Mad Max. It does make sense for the Ghostbusters star to run for her life in the face of such an apocalyptic beast, only to find her savior in the form of the Kia Niro running to her aide like Gandalf in Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Okay, that’s enough on the movie references, although the vagueness of the teaser did invite such measures. What’s important here is that Kia has created an aura of interest surrounding its Super Bowl LI commercial, which it says will air in the third quarter of the Big Game. The automaker further adds to the intrigue by describing the commercial as a "heroic and harrowing journey stretching from the polar ice caps to an arid desert.”

It’s hard to picture how that’s going to translate into a full 60-second ad but at least we’re looking forward to seeing it happen. That in itself makes this 15-second teaser starring Melissa McCarthy worth the money Kia spent to produce it.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Good move to see the Niro get a turn in the spotlight, but where’s the Stinger?

If there’s anything that Super Bowl commercials have taught us, it’s that there’s a traditional template that invites buzz and anticipation. Either get a certified celebrity to appear in the commercial (remember Chrysler’s “Made in Detroit” ad starring Eminem) or have a really incredible storyboard that includes cool pop culture references (yep, we still can’t forget about Volkswagen’s “Li’l Darth Vader” commercial). Sure, other ads can capture our attention if they’re done right, but for the most part, the memorable ones, good or bad, are those with celebrities in them.

Kia’s banking on that with its commercial for the Kia Niro by having Melissa McCarthy serve as somewhat of a brand ambassador. It’s a good move considering that McCarthy has become one of the most popular comediennes in Hollywood today and seeing her in an advertisement for the Kia Niro in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI will resonate to a lot of people.

Now as far as Kia’s decision to give the Niro prime Super Bowl placement is concerned, I think it’s a good move considering that the Niro is the Korean automaker’s first-ever dedicated hybrid crossover vehicle and the company has high hopes for the model as sales of the vehicle in the U.S. begin. The crossover has already been on sale in Europe since the second half of 2016 and in that time, it’s done surprisingly well for itself, including posting a monthly high of 2,112 units sold in September 2016.

That said, I also do think that if there’s a Kia that deserves a Super Bowl ad, it’s the Stinger. But that’s just me.

Read our full on the Kia Niro here.

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