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Kia drives awareness of Optima with mobile mapping utility, social gaming

Kia Motors Corp. has launched Optimap, a navigational tool for Apple's iOS devices that lets users share their locations and destinations with others and tweet them to their followers.

Kia helps users locate car dealerships in the area as well as gas stations, restaurants and other services in their cities and towns. The new Kia Optima mid-sized sedan is featured prominently in the Optimap application, which was created by Jellycoaster Inc.

?Kia Motors aims to satisfy rapidly changing customer needs through interactive applications like Optimap,? said Pamela Muñoz, assistant manager of public relations at Kia Motors, Seoul, South Korea. ?We are striving to engage Kia drivers with our brand and give them opportunities to share their online experience with their friends and family.

?The Optimap application was branded with Optima, Kia?s latest sedan, and introduces our incorporated approach to the Kia technology experience both off- and online,? she said. ?Kia Optima is geared towards working professionals in their 30s and early 40s.

?Since the iPhone demographic also falls well within that age group, we felt our Optimap application would a welcome addition to their online activities.?

Kia has an ever-expanding product line-up of automobiles that is sold through a network of distributors and dealers in  172 countries worldwide.

Optimal auto app
Optimap features the taptap choice mobile social game.

In addition to the social-media integration and mapping/navigation features, users of the Optimap application can view photos of the new Kia Optima and explore new features of the latest in Kia development.

?Optima photos and video have been integrated into the application so users can access the information at their will,? Ms. Muñoz said. ?Users can also find their nearest authorized Kia dealer if they would like to see the car up close and personal.

?However, the app?s functionality and the user?s convenience come first and foremost, so Kia?s branding remains as a secondary function,? she said.

While sharing their location and updating their arrival times to their friends, Optimap is an attempt to give users a taste of what Kia cars are made of, per Ms. Muñoz.

Optimap requires iOS 3.1 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It is free and available exclusively through the App Store.

While Kia does not currently promote specific retailers, Optimap iPhone users are linked with others users and their social networks through the application, contributing to word-of-mouth viral spread.

Kia has a sponsored application strategy where its online activities, especially its applications, are interconnected.

?We will soon be launching a fun game app whereby the two different apps can be used with one another,? Ms. Muñoz said. ?We are also placing mobile ads in select countries.

?It was our priority to introduce a free app for users to enhance their experience with Kia ? for both current and future drivers,? she said.

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