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Kia Motors America breaks mobile ad campaign

Kia Motors America has launched a mobile advertising campaign as the inaugural brand sponsor of imeem's new social music application for Google's Android mobile operating system.

Social music service imeem has launched a mobile advertising platform that offers brands new options to connect with mobile consumers through imeem for Android. Kia Motors America is using imeem's new social music application for the Android mobile platform to promote the Kia Soul, an all-new compact SUV launching next spring nationwide.

"We offer our brand partners like Kia an interesting, cool way to reach out to consumers, instead of an intrusive mobile advertising campaign," said Steve Jang, chief marketing officer and head of business development of imeem, San Francisco.

"This is a non-intrusive, non-interruptive, seamless way to deliver a brand experience while consumers are discovering and listening to music stations," he said.

As part of a cross-platform advertising campaign, Kia Soul will have a branded display presence across the imeem for Android user interface.

There will also be a featured Kia Soul-branded Internet radio station on the application.

"Kia can say, 'We're curating this, this is the selection of music we identify with, and we think these songs represent what we're all about,'" Mr. Jang said. "It's a discovery process, where consumers are introduced to music and Kia's all new compact SUV called the Soul.

"They may or may not like the music, but Kia's hoping they'll like the car," he said.

In addition to its mobile advertising program, Kia Motors will have a presence on the imeem.com service through a profile and display advertising on media streaming pages throughout the site.

The target demographic for imeem for Android is early adopters.

"These consumers are Twitter users, people who are text messaging, using their mobile device to send email, take and post photos and distribute them though social networks," Mr. Jang said.

"These are early-adopter power users, influencers, gear heads who want to install apps from multiple developers," he said.

Imeem for Android has several new recommendation features.

Imeem for Android claims to be among the 10 most-downloaded applications in the Android Market and the No. 1 music-streaming application.

New features in the upgraded version available through the Android Market include location-based streaming stations featuring the most popular music in the user's city and detailed artist bios.

Other features include artist recommendations to help fans discover similar artists to the ones they already love and an all-new seasonal station featuring popular holiday music.

Imeem for Android is integrated with the social features on http://www.imeem.com, providing the first cross-platform social music experience.

Imeem for Android brings free streaming music and personalized radio to the mobile phone, letting people create custom Internet radio stations by searching for specific artists, discover new music through personalized recommendations and listen to the most popular artists in the imeem community.

Imeem is a social music service that lets consumers discover, interact and express themselves with media, including music, video, photos and playlists.

Imeem claims to be the first social network to partner with all four major labels as well as thousands of independent labels and video providers to offer free, on-demand streaming of all music and video content on an ad-supported basis.

Launched in March 2006, the Web-based service attracts over 25 million unique users a month.

According to Quantcast, imeem's network of embeddable audio and video playlist widgets reaches more than 100 million users a month.

Kia Motors America is the sales, marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corp., based in Seoul, South Korea.

The U.S. subsidiary offers a complete line of vehicles via more than 640 dealers throughout the United States.

Kia Motors America recently launched a mobile Web site and a QR code program to introduce the new Kia Soul at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

David&Goliath and Usablenet launched Kia Soul Mobile to increase mobile interaction around the new Kia Soul.

The Kia Soul Mobile microsite, designed by David&Goliath and powered by Usablenet, was unveiled last week at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, providing visitors with a way to interact with the Kia Soul while at the event (see story).

The imeem addition is part of Kia's overall mobile push to its tech-savvy audience.

Imeem said that the open nature of the Android operating system was a major draw.

"With iPhone and Android, people started spending a lot of time online on mobile phones, and mobile got more interesting," Mr. Jang said.

"Mobile apps traditionally have offered a mediocre user experience, but Android gave us the opportunity to create something as interesting and as fun as what we've been doing on the Web, and offer premium branded advertising," he said.

"Now with Anroid, which is essentially an open OS, we can create an app just as we create a Web site. With open networks and protocols, it's more of a level playing field for developers than a few years ago.

"Consumers take their mobile device with them wherever they go, and brand advertisers are hungry for that."