An onslaught of Super Bowl ads are primed to sing and dance their way to viewers’ favor, but Kia’s introductory spot for the 2021 Seltos SUV plans to draw them closer, instead.
In this subtle, contemplative commercial, by David&Goliath, viewers learn about the tough journey taken by rookie NFL Running Back Josh Jacobs, who was homeless in middle school and had to fight harder than most to make it to practice, let alone the pros.
Creatively, the spot, "Tough Never Quits" is an oasis of calm, with an emotive piano composition underlying Jacobs’ quietly delivered words of advice. Jacobs is driving the new Kia when he sees a kid—his younger self—running to practice.
As they drive to the field, Jacobs gives him the advice he would have given himself. "I’ll tell him, Josh, it’s going to be hard growing up homeless, but you’ve got to believe in yourself, be tougher than the world around you."
The boy listens quietly, almost somberly. Pulling up, Jacobs tells him: "And that field, that your proving ground. Push yourself to be someone."
The ad plays tribute to Jacobs’ past and all the athletes who came up hard and fought for a chance for a better future. Its message is also universal enough to give all viewers a moment of reflection, whether they suffered adversity as children, played sports or not, that getting somewhere takes something.
David&Goliath created a companion six-minute documentary that tells Jacobs’ story, growing up with his father in Tulsa, Okla and eventually playing at the University of Alabama and making it to the Oakland (now Las Vegas) Raiders.
The commercial and documentary support Kia’s overarching "Give It Everything" positioning to wholeheartedly embrace the pursuit of greatness.
Additionally, Kia will support three nonprofits that help homeless youth get a foothold on stability. Its "Yards Against Homelessness" promotion has Kia pledging to give $1,000 for every yard gained during the Super Bowl and will be divided between Covenant House, Positive Tomorrows and StandUp for Kids.
The support follows Kia’s campaign last year, "The Great Unknowns," where youth scholarships were funded instead of paying celeb endorsers.
"Having a voice and standing for something gives brands permission to inspire true change," said David Angelo, David&Goliath’s founder and creative chairman in a statement. "And what better platform than the world’s largest stage to draw widespread attention to the 4.2 million children living on the streets and to help give them hope by generating awareness and funds."