Marketing Brand Strategy Kia

Kia taps the first DJ in the metaverse to help us get into ‘the flow state’


By Webb Wright | Reporter

February 25, 2022 | 4 min read

Kia has co-opted the music of Wave, the first DJ to exist entirely in the metaverse, to portray its brand as one that can unlock creativity. Along with production company DaHouse, it is looking to create the sounds necessary to put us all in the optimal state of mind.


Wave is the first DJ to exist entirely in the metaverse

Kia has long positioned itself as a brand that creates ‘movement that inspires.’ Now it’s taking that brand message a step further by collaborating with “the metaverse’s very first DJ,” and using music that’s been scientifically engineered to boost creativity.

The new project from Kia features music from Wave, the first DJ to exist entirely in the metaverse. Though Wave is “a faceless and genderless virtual artist,” they nonetheless have the glimmerings of what we might call a personality – they can interact with fans on social media, for example, and those same fans will also be able to interact with Wave in virtual reality (VR). Virtual Wave wearables, including sneakers and jackets, will also soon become available for avatars in the metaverse. Wave’s instrument of choice is called ‘move.ment,’ a music software created by audio production company DaHouse that collects and mixes ambient sounds from nature – such as thunder, waves washing up on the beach and birds singing in the forest.

But move.ment is more than just raw audio from idyllic scenes in nature. It also comes with a neuroscientific framework. Its creators have provided a series of steps for recommended mixing intended to place the listener in a ‘flow state,’ that much-sought-after and elusive mindset that is said to facilitate optimal focus and creativity. According to Kia, the “sounds of movement in nature produce what’s known as pink noise ... [which] increases the alpha waves in the brain, inducing the flow state of consciousness.” Move.ment, in other words, is almost being positioned as a smorgasbord containing the raw materials for a kind of meditative state. Users need only to layer and toy with those raw materials – via a variety of keys, dials and features – to customize their own ‘pink noise’ and thereby create their own unique flow experience.

All of which makes it a perfect fit for Kia, a car company with a marketing strategy that tends to emphasize creativity and innovation. More specifically, it positions its cars as tools for transcending creative barriers: ‘Movement that inspires.’ An instrument that leverages neuroscience to aid creativity pairs nicely with Kia’s existing brand image. The fact that the instrument is being used by the first entirely VR-based DJ is also a boon for Kia, giving the brand a touch of techno-futuristic clout.

In one of the new ads, for example, we see a woman who appears to be grappling with – and ultimately overcoming – the kind of creative frustration that almost every artist will be familiar with. In the beginning of the spot, she’s lying on her floor, clearly waiting for some kind of creative inspiration to strike. Then she stands up, and for the duration of the ad she’s in vibrant motion, moving, dancing and roller skating, first through the city and then through the woods. In the end, we see her in the throes of creative bliss, sitting behind a computer monitor, surrounded by trees, wearing over-ear headphones and obviously in some kind of rapturous flow state. The creative barriers have been smashed. Movement, aided by nature, has inspired. The soundtrack for the entire, nearly two-minute spot is Every Single Move, a song produced by Wave, along with flesh-and-blood artists JNVR and Thom K.

Wave’s first EP will come pre-loaded in all Kia vehicles beginning this year. The company will also soon be launching a project in collaboration with SoundCloud that will allow users to interact with a virtual version of move.ment and create their own musical scores.

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