Kia links with Yahoo for branded content series

Kia Motors wants to stand out from the crowd.

The Korean car manufacturer is launching a six-episode branded content series on Yahoo Screen. Called “The Getaway Guide,” the show encourages viewers to head outdoors and take spontaneous getaways in their new Kia Sorento crossovers while highlighting the car’s features and amenities. The content is focused on adventurous activities that viewers can do over the weekend, such as trapeze-flying and zip-lining. Each video is accompanied by a pre-roll video and display ad by Kia promoting the 2016 Sorento.

“This is an excellent opportunity to connect with action-adventure-minded consumers by showcasing the refined and capable 2016 Sorento,” said Tim Chaney, vp of marketing communications, Kia Motors America.

Kia’s partnership with Yahoo extends beyond Screen as well. The videos have been customized for Yahoo Splash Ads, its “immersive, large-canvas visual ads” which are designed to be displayed prominently across its digital magazines and will also be shown across Yahoo’s various digital properties such as Yahoo Food and Yahoo Travel. Sponsored posts will also appear on Yahoo-owned Tumblr and Kia will also be using Yahoo’s advanced targeting capabilities to reach its target consumer base: those with an interest in an active lifestyle, as well as in-market crossover shoppers.

“The Getaway Guide” is the latest in Kia’s “The Perfect Getaway” campaign by its agency David&Goliath, which kicked off in January and incorporated TV, cinema, digital and social media. It also featured Pierce Brosnan in one of the most popular Super Bowl commercials this year, which poked fun at the over-the-top nature of most car commercials.

Over the last couple of years, brands — particularly car brands — have benefited from associating themselves with video content. Acura, for instance, has partnered with comedian Jerry Seinfeld to sponsor his hit Web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” which featured its latest cars. With several new players in the video-streaming landscape now, brands have a lot of options to choose from.

Yahoo is one of them. Its video push includes a focus on original shows, live programming — which consists of daily concert webcasts through a pact it signed with Live Nation Entertainment last summer — and targeted video series tied to Yahoo’s digital magazine sites, including news, food, technology, travel and beauty.

Yahoo Screen’s multiplatform unique visitors in the U.S. have also increased by 22 percent year-over-year, according to comScore, from 19.4 million to 23.8 million. Its brand equity, as well as the fact that it has recently invested heavily in both talent and content make it an attractive partner for brands.

“Yahoo is very horizontal now and offers a lot of possibilities, which makes it very appealing,” said Paul Verna, senior analyst at eMarketer. “I am sure it is actively courting a lot of other brands, and more big partnerships will come out soon.”

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