Vote now through Dec. 3 at kia.studio30.adage.com
By Nina Tabios
Johanna Granlund and Amanda Wennberg’s concept all started with a toy car.
“We bought the toy car for a process video. I think having the toy car in the back of our head, we didn’t think to include it in the execution,” explained Wennberg. “After a while, we were like, ‘Well, what about the toy car?’”
Granlund, an art director, and Wennberg, a copywriter, are B.F.A. students from the School of Advertising at Academy of Art University. The Swedish tag team was recently named as a finalist for the Ad Adage-sponsored Kia Driving Creativity print ad contest. The Kia Driving Creativity Contest official winner is chosen via a user-generated vote in the first week of December and the grand prize includes a trip to the 2019 Cannes Festival in Paris, $10,000 toward tuition and $5,000 toward their school program.
Granlund explained the brief asked contestants to create an ad for the sporty Stinger, “bringing in creativity, youthfulness, and speed and all of that into the brand ad,” while simultaneously changing the current perception of Kia as strictly an “A-to-B car.”
Their ad sports a headline proclaiming, “Get the car of your childhood dreams.” Beneath a striking red Kia Stinger wrapped in toy packaging, it reads: “Cruise through your mid-life-crisis in the fast, shiny car you’ve wanted since vrooming around on the floor in your childhood room. A sporty, high-speed car that makes your chest sting with youth.”
“We found in our research that people aged 35-55 are the primary [Kia] buyer demographic but [our target] was more of a mindset than an age range,” Granlund said, who described the audience as people who “go against the stream but stay on top of trends.” Kind of like a dad, and that’s not to say having the taste or persona of a fatherly figure is bad. In fact, Granlund and Wennberg really dialed into this specific customer story and centered their ad around what Wennberg called, “the life cycle of cars.”
“When you’re young, you’re playing around with the toy car and then you get your first sh—- teenage car, the one your parents buy you,” she spelled out. “Then after that, as an adult, you have a little bit more money to splurge on a nicer car. But when you get a family you have to give that up.”
Playing around with the idea of a mid-life crisis, they decided to portray the Stinger as a vehicle for your inner child: sophisticated, yet still playful for the established, but not-so-flashy, father figure (or mom): “Who we’re talking to is when you’re after your family but you don’t buy the Porsche,” Wennberg continued. “Because you’re not that kind of person, you don’t want to be a cliché. And so the Kia is kind of the perfect solution.”
When asked why their submission should win, Wennberg said, above all, the clarity and conciseness of the art and copy are what sets their ad above the competition.
“I think that a lot of people that haven’t done advertising are like, ‘Oh I get it,’ right away,” Granlund mentioned. “And it’s just a strong concept. You can look at the visual and I feel like the visual and copy support each other too.”
The Kia Driving Creativity contest is the first taste of advertising success that Wennberg and Granlund have found since they started working together and were happy, albeit surprised when they found out they were finalists. Win or lose, they see this accomplishment as a marker for how far they’ve come as collaborators, a partnership built off a foundation of trust and honesty.
“[Granlund] can read my copy and if she’s like, ‘Mmm, I don’t know,’ I’ll take that feedback in a good way and the same goes for her work. When you have that collaboration and trust, you can push each other further,” Wennberg said.
“Besides from being a finalist, it’s been a very fun project,” Granlund added. “We’ve worked on a lot of different briefs together and this really shows how good we are in collaborating.”
Vote for Johanna Granlund and Amanda Wennberg’s Kia Driving Creativity Contest submission at kia.studio30.adage.com. Voting ends on Dec. 3.