Kia uses backmasking to hide message from Steven Tyler in YouTube ad
- Kia released its 60-second Super Bowl ad on YouTube, where viewers can hear a hidden message when they watch it in reverse, according to a press release provided to Mobile Marketer. The tactic, called "backmasking" was popularized by rock bands in the '70s and '80s, encouraging fans to play their albums backwards to hear a hidden message. Viewers who tweet the hidden message on Twitter could get a surprise, the automaker promises.
- The ad shows Aerosmith's Steven Tyler stepping into a car on an abandoned racetrack while his band's 1973 power ballad "Dream On" plays in the background. Tyler slams the car into reverse to take a trip back in time to the 1970s and emerges as his 25-year-old former self.
- The campaign was created by Kia's AOR David & Goliath and includes a 15-second online teaser, a 30-second launch spot that will go live during the pre-game for the Super Bowl and a 60-second video that went up on YouTube on Feb. 1, which will also air during the game on Sunday.
Kia, by including a hidden message for viewers on YouTube, shows how brands can take their standard TV ads and turn them into something more interactive and engaging for digital viewers. Featuring a combination of backmasking, a tactic popular in the early days of classic rock, and Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler could help Kia appeal to legions of rock fans young and old. The creative, which shows Tyler traveling back in time to the '70s reinforces the idea that modern technology and classic rock are a good match. The overall message supports Kia's positioning for its new Stinger car, which is that the brand can push the industry forward despite the fact that it hasn't been around as long as some other automakers.
Brands are investing more than $5 million for Super Bowl spots this year, and most take the extra step of making them available on YouTube to get more mileage out of their investment. However, simply parking an ad on YouTube doesn't address how the digital viewing experience is inherently different, with viewers looking for something exciting, interactive and unique.
Other carmakers are also tapping mobile to create interactive experiences as part of their Super Bowl marketing. While Kia's ad runs during the Super Bowl, carmaker Mercedes-Benz is doing a "Last Fan Standing" Super Bowl contest to give away a sporty AMG C43 Coupe to the user who can keep his or her finger on a mobile screen displaying a virtual car the longest.
As part of its effort to promote the new model, Kia last month showcased its features with a 360-degree virtual reality experience at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The Kia 4D Stinger Experience lets attendees get behind the wheel and virtually travel through provincial towns of Southern France, on the Pacific Coast Highway along California's Big Sur and the Cadwell Park motor racing circuit in England.