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The Drum

David&Goliath taps Bo and Boz for new Kia work

David&Goliath taps Bo and Boz for new Kia work

Now that the NFL season has kicked off, the ad flurry with current and former NFL stars is underway as well. Kia Motors, with the help of its AOR, LA independent David&Goliath, is tackling the theme with an old-school take on digital football games, featuring NFL phenom Bo Jackson and one-time rival Brian “Boz” Bosworth in both live and 8-bit pixelated versions of themselves.

The campaign highlights the 2017 Kia Sorento SX Limited V6 SUV and features two spots, “Tecmo Bo” and “Tecmo Bros.” The “MVP of SUV’s” campaign showcases the 2017 Sorento’s extensive list of standard and available driver assistance and infotainment features

The spots utilize the graphics from Nintendo’s popular Tecmo Bowl game from the early ’90s, which was the first to have licensing privileges from the NFL, which meant they could use player names and likenesses (however crude the graphics may have been).

There is most certainly nostalgia at work, rehashing the famous play where Bo Jackson literally ran over Brian Bosworth, the headbanded linebacker who was definitely the bad boy of football at the time while Jackson was a two-sport star. Nearly 30 years after that play, with both long since retired, the two meet again on a digital playing field and in an SUV.

“Football fans remember these legendary players, and paired with the ever-lasting popularity of Tecmo Bowl, we believed these were the perfect channels to communicate the power, intelligence and nimble handling of the Sorento,” said Colin Jeffery, chief creative officer, David&Goliath. “The play on technology in terms of blending the old video game graphics with the new advancements in the Sorento illustrates just how far Kia has come and how advanced this SUV truly is.”

The first spot, “Tecmo Bo,” features just Jackson. As a Tecmo Bowl player he runs out of the stadium – using the chintzy music of the time and shaky graphics – then turns into the live version of himself and drives back into the stadium in a Sorento. The digitized version – this time with updated metal music – zigs and zags back and forth between defenders, then finally careens into the end zone for a score.

In “Tecmo Bros,” Bo takes a hand off in the Sorento, then proceeds towards the end zone before running into the blocky version of the Boz. The autonomous emergency braking feature reacts, then the real Bosworth gets into the vehicle. In a subtle nod to their earlier on-field meeting, Bosworth says, “thanks for not running me over,” to which Jackson replies, “you mean again?”

The spots, aside from their appeal to the Gen X sports fans, are meant to show that the Sorento is an MVP of SUVs with all its high tech features, including advanced crash avoidance and infotainment technologies.

The spots will debut on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, marking Kia’s third consecutive season with Sunday Night Football.

“At Kia, we are always looking to stand out, and using the Sorento to take football fans inside a beloved video game and bring two legendary players roaring back in all their 8-bit glory was an opportunity that was simply too good to pass up,” said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and EVP, Kia Motors America (KMA). “Sunday Night Football has been the top-rated primetime show for five straight years, and after our football-themed advertising helped push Sorento sales up more than 13 per cent in 2015, returning this year was a no-brainer.”


Agency: David&Goliath, LA

Founder & Chairman: David Angelo

President: Brian Dunbar

Chief Creative Officer: Colin Jeffery

Creative Director: Rick Utzinger

Sr. Art Director: Sheldon Melvin

Sr. Copywriter: Matt Kappler

Sr. Copywriter: Andy Sciamanna

Planning Director: Andrew Lynch

Director of Broadcast Production: Paul Albanese

Sr. Broadcast Producer: Katie Lambrecht

Senior Project Manager: Kemit Ray

Managing Director: Jeff Moohr

Group Account Director: Mike O’Malley

Account Supervisor: Tara Poosti

Account Executive: Jack Scott

Product Information Manager: Mark McNaul

Director, Business Affairs: Rodney Pizarro

Business Affairs Manager: Camara Price

Production Company: MJZ

Director / DP: Joaquin Baca-Asay

President: David Zander

Executive Producer: Eriks Krumins

Line Producer: Lalou Dammond

Sales Representative: In-House Reps (Steven Monkarsh / Irma Rodriguez)

Editorial House: Spinach

Editor: Nate Gross

Asst Editor: Zaldy Lopez

Producer: Jonathan Carpio / Patricia Gushikuma

VFX / Animation / Online: Method

Creative Director: Jon Noorlander

Lead Flame Artist / On Set Supervisor: Tom Leckie

Lead Flame Artist: Chihcheng Peng

CG Supervisor: Ivan Guerrero, Rick Walia

Compositing Supervisor: David Piombino

Executive Producers: Stuart Robinson & Stephanie Gilgar

Senior VFX Producer: Heather Saunders

Color: Company 3

Colorist: Tim Masick

Music: Beacon Street

Composers: John Nau, Andrew Feltenstein, Danny Dunlap

Sound Design & Mix: Beacon Street

Mixer / Sound Designer: Rommel Molina

Executive Producer: Adrea Lavezzoli

Mix Producer: Kate Vadnais

Associate Producer: Lindsey Lerman