How KIA Created the #1 YouTube Ad Canadians Chose to Watch in 2020

January 1, 2021

Key Takeaways

The KIA Seltos advertisement was able to claim the #1 spot by featuring the following best practices:

Upbeat Music:

  • KIA strategically chose to feature Billie Eilish’s longest-leading Hot 100 No.1 song “Bad Guy” rather than a typical voiceover for their KIA Seltos advertisement to appeal to a younger demographic
  • Billie Eilish’s song is a stark contrast to KIA’s typical video advertisements which feature an instrumental piano soundtrack accompanied by a voice over 
  • Choose your soundtrack wisely and keep your target audience in mind. Trending YouTube music videos can be a great way to discover the latest music that is resonating with the younger demographic.

Smooth Video Transitions

  • The editing style of the advertisement featured multiple transitions, which were in sync to the beat of the main soundtrack. This is a common editing style that has been trending on TikTok, which has been proven to resonate with the millennial audience.

Vibrant Colours:

  • The KIA Seltos ad featured Instagram-style filters, as well as vibrant colors of pink, green, and blue which is a stark contrast to other KIA ads which usually feature muted tones.

Choose Actors in the Same Age Range as Your Target Audience:

  • Actors featured in this ad was of a younger demographic in their 20s, whereas other KIA advertisements often show actors in their late 30s - 50s or feature young families. By choosing relatable actors in a similar age range, KIA was able to create an ad that resonated with their target audience.

Every year, YouTube creates a list of “Top 10 Ads Canadians Chose to Watch.” Videos are ranked based on factors such as organic views, paid views, as well as watch time and audience retention.

YouTube - Top 10 Ads Canadians Chose to Watch

In 2020, the KIA Seltos advertisement earned the #1 spot in the Top 10 list.

YouTube - KIA Seltos advertisement

The video (English and French versions combined) gained 7M views, making it the most popular video on the Kia Canada YouTube channel.

YouTube - KIA - English and French Versions

KIA Seltos appeals to a younger demographic and calls to “stay stylish and stay connected”, claiming that Seltos is “the perfect fit for your world and everything that comes with it.”

KIA Seltos

The video used Instagram-style filters and “standard” car frames shots from different angles. Most importantly, rather than being voiced over, the ad features Billie Eilish’s song called “Bad Boy.”

KIA Seltos - Billie Eilish - Bad Boy

The editing of the video featured multiple transitions, which were in sync to the beat of the advertisement’s main soundtrack. This is a common editing style that has been trending on TikTok with the younger demographic.

KIA - TikTok

The slick editing of the video combined with Billie Eilish’s song resonated with a younger, millennial audience.

KIA - Billie Eilish - Millennial Audience

However, there was a fair amount of those who wanted to learn more about the specific features of the car with proper shots of the exterior.

KIA - YouTube - Kia Seltos - Specific Features

The use of Bilie Eilish’s catchy tune caught the attention of many viewers as they commented to ask for the name of the track featured in the advertisement.

KIA - YouTube Advertisement - Billie Eilish - VIewers asking about the track used in the video

In contrast to KIA’s typical video advertisements, the Seltos ad featured upbeat music, vibrant colours, and young actors in their 20s.

KIA - Kia Seltos - Upbeat Music - Vibrant Colours - Young Actors
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