Kia Motors Launches YouTube Talent Search With $10,000 Prize

Kia Soul YouTube ContestKia Motors has already conquered YouTube with their viral Kia Soul hamster commercial, and now they are taking things to the next level with a new YouTube talent search. Kia Motors, along with YouTube celebrity judges ShayCarl, Lisa Nova and SMOSH, are looking for the next big YouTube star in Kia’s ‘Who’s Next?’ competition. Contestants are asked to submit videos showcasing “a new way to roll”, and Kia will fly two finalists out to Los Angeles where the winner will receive a generous $10,000 prize.

Kia’s success with the viral Kia Soul video has inspired the company to move forward into the realm of social media, according to VP of Marketing & Communications at Kia Motors, Michael Sprague. Sprague says, “The Kia Soul has attracted a new audience to the Kia brand and engaging these fans through the ‘Who’s Next?’ contest gives them the opportunity to have fun with the Soul’s playful personality. Social media is an important part of the marketing strategy for Soul and engaging passionate enthusiasts in this space creates additional opportunities to build buzz through a new, interactive experience.”

Sprague and Kia are spot-on with their intentions in this campaign. Contests like this are a fantastic way for brands to build a buzz. Each and every person who enters a video in the ‘Who’s Next?’ competition and shares the link with their friends is promoting Kia and spreading the word about this great opportunity that the brand is giving to YouTubers. A $10,000 prize and a couple of plane tickets to Los Angeles is a small price to pay for the massive amount of promotion Kia will receive from this campaign.

Kia isn’t the first car company to sponsor a YouTube contest of this nature. A couple of months ago, Toyota and Ryan Seacrest sponsored a ‘Small Talk’ competition, looking for the cutest kids on YouTube. The prize was also $10,000. The Small Talk competition was quite successful. However, I have the feeling that Kia’s ‘Who’s Next?’ contest has the potential to be a much larger success, as they have recruited some of the biggest YouTube celebs to help promote and judge the competition. The celebrity judges have more than 640 million YouTube video views combined and a total of more than 2.62 million subscribers. With their help, this competition is likely to take off quickly.

SMOSH, ShayCarl and Lisa Nova will choose the top eight submissions after the contest closes at the end of September. The finalists will then be selected by viewers during a three-round voting process. Videos can be submitted, as well as viewed, on the Kia Soul YouTube channel. Check out the video below for more information. Do you think you’ll enter the ‘Who’s Next?’ contest? What do you think about brand-sponsored YouTube contests? Do you think we will be seeing more of these in the future?

Related Stories
Mediabistro Course

Online Marketing

Online MarketingStarting November 4, learn how to launch a successful digital marketing campaign for your brand! In this course, you'll learn how to create an online marketing strategy, identify the appropriate distribution platforms, and use the web to successfully deliver your brand's message. Register now!