Kia Made a Summer Blockbuster Parody Where the Product Features Are the Hero

A thrill ride, of sorts, from David&Goliath

You know what's wrong with Hollywood's high-octane summer blockbusters? During the car chases, they don't tell you much about remote start, climate control, rear cross-traffic alert or blind-spot collision avoidance!

Kia's noir spoof "The Features Film" zips off in a different direction. As the title suggests, this cinematic send-up from David&Goliath and Slice director Ozan Biron focuses on vehicle attributes. It's a thrill ride—and a shill ride! (In a good way.)

The tongue-in-cheek tale follows a getaway driver who runs afoul of the mob, and plays out over 13 brief episodes, each spotlighting different high-tech features.

There's also a 40-second trailer, as well as a minute-long teaser. Or you can just watch the full-length version below, which clocks in close to seven minutes:

Kia Presents: The Features Film (Full Video)

It was awfully sporting of that crime boss to toss his keys to the driver, setting the story in motion. Why not just waste the guy in the warehouse? Ah well, it's not like the Fast & Furious franchise always makes sense, right? (Or Jason Bourne or John Wick, for that matter.)

Eight Kia models appear in the campaign: Forte, Soul, Stinger, Niro EV, Niro HEV, Seltos, Sportage and Sorento. The features mentioned above create plot points, along with rear-camera display, smart trunk technology, mood lighting and more.

It's a fun, unexpected approach that plays on this year's lack of summer films amid the pandemic, and for ad nerds of a certain age, recalls the groundbreaking BMW Films series launched by Fallon nearly 20 years ago.

Ultimately, these souped-up product demos pack enough pizzazz, high production values and impudent humor to please.

"Features videos are one of the tedious necessities of the car business," laments D&G executive creative director Mark Koelfgen. "They are sort of like stereo instructions—but less interesting. So, when this assignment to advertise a suite of tech and safety features landed on our desk, the team came back with a very ambitious take."

D&G nailed the concept pre-Covid. 

"We thought it would be a nice compliment to the summer blockbuster season," Koelfgen says. "We had no idea that would get turned on its head. Yet, given the appetite for content right now, it feels well timed. The intent of the assignment was to create short, one-off demos for each feature, and serve it to in-market shoppers. But strung together with a narrative, the spot became something much larger."

He hopes the approach surprises online car shoppers "with something that blows them away with its level of joy and craft. If this is what we put into our demos, imagine what we put under the hood!"

Shooting took place over five February nights in Vancouver, with temperatures dipping into the 20s. "Normally this is not such an issue, but it was challenging to fit nearly five episodes into each shoot day in these conditions," Koelfgen recalls. "Besides the heat lamps, the only thing keeping us warm was the poutine."

Campaign elements will run via targeted media buys on Facebook and Instagram, with retargeting across various platforms as pre- and mid-roll inserts.

CREDITS

Getaway Driver: Jeff Branson
Girlfriend: Junnicia Lagoutin
Crime Boss: Ken Godmere

Agency: David&Goliath
David Angelo Founder & Creative Chairman  
Yumi Prentice President
Laura Forman Chief Strategy Officer
Mark Koelfgen Executive Creative Director/Copywriter  
Frauke Tiemann Group Creative Director/Art Director  
John O'Hea Group Creative Director/Art Director  
Steve Clarke Group Creative Director/Copywriter  
Chris Mead Associate Creative Director/Copywriter
Kris Wong Associate Creative Director /Art Director
Peter Watson Art Director (social)
Caleb Nyberg Copywriter (social)
Paul Albanese Managing Director, Broadcast Production  
Peter Bassett Managing Director, Integrated Production & Technology Services
Justine Kleeman Executive Producer
Genevieve Shah, Producer
Natasha Royzina Director, Business Affairs
Amy Santana Associate Manager, Business Affairs
Donesh Olyaie Group Planning Director
Jeff Cannata Communications Planning Director
Jasmine Spraglin Sr. Strategist
Natalie Gomez Senior Communications Planner  
Hailey Kim Jr. Communications Planner
Taylor Grant Analytics Director
Genie Lara Associate Director of Project Management
Paul Stephens Senior Project Manager  
Jeff Moohr Managing Director  
Sarah Masket Management Supervisor, Digital  
Gabriella Mourad Account Executive, Digital
Britney Bencomo Assistant Account Executive, Digital
Mark McNaul  Automotive Specialist/Kia Product Information Manager  
Meagan Steinkamp Digital Designer, Motion Designer
Kurtis Mirick Digital Designer, Motion Designer

Production Company: SLICE
Ozan Biron: Director  
Ted Herman: Executive Producer
Trevor Cawood: Producer
Philip Fyfe: Line Producer
Macgregor: DP

Editorial Company: Spinach
Adam Bright: Editor
Jason Dopko: Editor (courtesy of Lost Planet)
Juliana Rodzinski: Assistant Editor (courtesy of Lost Planet)
Marshall Thompson: Assistant Editor
Ethan Jacob: Assistant Editor
Patricia Gushikuma: Post Producer
Jonathan Carpio: Executive Producer

Motion Graphics Company: Ampersand

Post: The Mill
Andrew Gilson: Producer
Blake Rice: Color Associate Producer
Jessica Amburgey: Color Associate Producer
Emma Hertz: Coordinator
Steve Cokonis: VFX Supervisor
Adam Lambert: 2D Lead
Matthew Osborne: Colorist

Audio Post Studio: Lime
Rohan Young: Sound Design and Audio Mix
Jeff Malen: Audio Mixer
Jeremy Nichols: Assistant mixer
Susie Boyajan: Executive Producer

Music Companies: Alibi, APM, and Wolf at the Door

Song: Tracking The Target
Composer: Benjamin Hayden (PRS)
Publisher: Alibi Generator (ASCAP)
Master: Alibi Music, LP

Song: Galactic Paradox
Composer: Doug Moss (ASCAP)
Publisher: Alibi Generator (ASCAP)
Master: Alibi Music, LP

Song: Desert Trap
Composer: Sheridan Paul Tongue (PRS)
Library: APM

Song: Dark Tunnel
Composer: Nicolas Alexandre Robert Deroo (SACEM)
Library: APM

Song: Radius
Composer:  Max Cameron Concors (ASCAP)
Library: APM

Song: Stolen Muscle Car
Composer: Ethan Hunter (PRS) 50% and Brett Weir (PRS) 50%
Library: APM

Song: Give It Everything
Composer: Victoria Faith Beaumont (PRS) 25% Ross Stephen Gilmartin (PRS) 75%
Library: APM

Song: The Getaway
Composer: Bradley Denniston
Music House: Wolf at the Door

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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