Ever since Kia’s fashion-forward hamsters made their debut in 2009, they’ve managed to capture that elusive “so-unnecessarily-bizarre-that-you-can’t-look-away” appeal that is usually reserved for breakout reality TV stars of the Honey Boo Boo variety. Thus, it’s no surprise that Kia recently decided to double down on their favorite spokesrodents for a new primetime ad campaign. The famed Kia hamsters live for applause.
The new spot by David & Goliath features the infamous rodents embarking on an intense exercise regimen, resulting in the red carpet debut of three buffed and toned new hamsters, all set to Lady Gaga’s new single “Applause.” I suppose that this is meant to serve as a metaphor for the slimmed
down, redesigned Kia Soul, but there’s little use groping for logic in a narrative about upwardly mobile, man-sized hamsters.
This commercial premiered early during the broadcast of MTV’s Video Music Awards (which coincidentally opened with Gaga’s live debut of “Applause”), suggesting that Kia is banking on the meme-esque appeal of the hamsters to younger demographics. Given that the video has already gone quasi-viral across the web, it’s safe to say that abstraction and absurdity, once the province of modern art snobs and Lady Gaga’s costume designers, have reached a level of mass appeal. If you think I’m crazy, I’ve got an Old Spice-wearing centaur who’d like a word with you.