Hiphop hamsters party it up on Kiwi telly

Look out for rapping hiphop hamsters coming to a screen near you – Kia's award-winning, music loving rodents are heading down under.

The Kia hamsters proved a hit in the US where they are credited with turning the Kia Soul into a bestseller, and won numerous awards including Nielsen's ‘Automotive Ad of the Year’ two years in a row and both Silver and Gold Effie awards – the advertising world’s equivalent of the Oscars.

They will be appearing in a new commercial featuring top 40 hit Party Rock Anthem promoting Kia's five-year warranty programme in the New Zealand market.

David & Goliath, the LA-based agency behind the ads, said it was a "brave" move to use the animated hamsters, which were now a part of “popular culture with a fun, distinct image that resonates with people”.

Since its first appearance on US TV screens in 2009, the hamster campaign has staked its place among the most-watched ads on TV screens across the States.

They have also garnered a huge following on YouTube, with more than 5.5 million hits, and Kia Motors is certain they will be no less popular here.

Todd McDonald, general manager of Kia Motors New Zealand, said the company had been considering introducing the rapping hamsters for some time, but was waiting for the right opportunity.

“There isn’t anything else like it on TV at the moment and we felt there was an opportunity to inject a bit of fun and entertainment onto our TV screens over the summer season,” he said.

“I guess viewers will either love them or loathe the hamsters, but they will certainly get noticed.”

As well as appearing on TV and YouTube, the rapping Kia hamsters have also fronted their own Facebook campaign, with dancers from around the globe being invited to join their party and participate in a LMFAO-inspired dance video submission contest called the "Soul Shuffle Slam".

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).