An Automotive Giant Isn’t Airing a Super Bowl Commercial For a Very Good Reason

Super Bowl LV is unlike any other that’s come before it. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of the NFL’s championship game, and even the Super Bowl commercials won’t be the same.

Several significant advertisers announced that they are sitting out of this year’s big game. The ever-growing list already includes the likes of Hyundai, Budweiser, and Coca-Cola.

Another automotive giant won’t run a commercial during this year’s big game, despite having done so for 11 consecutive years. However, this manufacturer isn’t skipping the Super Bowl to save money. Instead, it is redirecting its resources toward a better cause.

Kia breaks its Super Bowl commercial streak

The South-Korean automaker has been a familiar face on Super Bowl Sunday throughout the years. 

In 2020, USA Today ranked three Kia Super Bowl commercials among the Top 100 of the past 25 years. 

The automotive manufacturer’s 2017 ad spot featuring actress Mellissa McCarthy, dubbed ‘Hero’s Journey,’ earned the most acclaim. USA Today put the commercial, which was promoting the all-new 2017 Kia Niro, in 14th place. 

Meanwhile, the publication ranked Kia’s 2019 ‘Great Unknowns Scholarship’ and 2012 ‘Male Fantasy’ ads in 46th and 54th place, respectively.

Other automakers are going full-throttle in promoting their products during Super Bowl LV. However, Kia isn’t keeping up with its successful tradition of creating quality Super Bowl commercials. 

Kia is going the extra mile in 2021

Two people, including NFL running back Josh Jacobs, standing next to a green Kia Seltos in last year's Kia Super Bowl commercial
NFL running back Josh Jacobs and a child actor next to a Seltos in Kia’s 2020 Super Bowl commercial | Kia

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The world is an extremely different place since the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic created new obstacles while also shedding light on other national issues. That’s partially why Kia is choosing to use its time and resources to help combat these problems.

Instead of spending millions for just 30 seconds of Super Bowl advertising time, Kia is redirecting its finances toward charities.

Kia detailed its recent efforts via a press release, stating that it’s giving back to high school football programs negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Woodrow Wilson High School’s football team in Camden, N.J. is the first program to benefit from Kia’s charitable efforts. The school suspended its football program last fall due to budget cuts and social distancing measures. However, Kia’s donation will help the Woodrow Wilson Tigers get back to the gridiron sooner rather than later.

The company will announce more recipients in the near future.

“Football is America’s game, and this Sunday will provide the welcome break we all need from the pandemic. As we thought about it more, we realized Kia could use this as an opportunity to help high school players keep working toward their dreams of someday being on football’s biggest stage,” said Kia Motors America vice president of marketing Russell Wager via the press release.

The brand’s efforts ties into its already-established “Accelerate the Good” program. This initiative works to assist homeless youth, provide college scholarships, and supply other pandemic-related relief.

There’s not a Kia Super Bowl commercial, but there are new Kia ads

RELATED: The 2021 Kia Telluride Just Lost Some of Its Appeal

The recent release of the acclaimed Kia Telluride helped fuel the company to record-breaking sales figures. Now, the South Korean automaker is hoping to continue the trend.

It launched a pair of 30-second videos this week. The first, dubbed ‘The Bear & The Eagle,’ promote the redesigned 2021 Kia Sorento’s rugged capability. 

Meanwhile, Kia’s ‘The Game Must Go On’ spot explains the struggles of the nation’s high school football programs while highlighting the brand’s ‘Accelerate The Good’ initiative.

At the end of the day, Kia needs to promote its brand to sell new cars continuously. And the manufacturer has never been more popular or successful than it is now.