It's the 18th century. Horse-drawn carriages drop off elegantly dressed patrons at an opera house. Lots of powdered wigs. The conductor enters to applause, the orchestra starts, and the curtain rises on a solo prima donna. The ballet corps enters from the side, as the woman sings: "In my mind... in my head... this is what we're waiting for..."
Twenty five seconds into this commercial and there's still no sign of what the product is.
The floor of the stage opens, and from below, something begins to rise...
a Kia Soul.
The conductor pulls off his face (it was a mask) revealing an enormous hamster. He points to the balcony to cue the DJ, also a hamster, who starts spinning Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl's "In My Mind" (featuring Georgi Kay) - the Axwell remix.
Out of the car emerge three more human-sized hamsters, who begin to breakdancing. Their popping and locking and hip-hop stylings get the ballet corps to join in, and soon, as disco lasers fill the opera house, the entire audience is rocking out. One of the hamsters does a tremendous stage dive and ends up crowd surfing. When he returns to the stage, the three dancers start up the Kia engine, and drive over the heads of the audience, seemingly into hyperspace.
For this fourth appearance of the Soul Hamsters, David&Goliath had Carl (47 Ronin) Rinsch at the helm, with John Mathieson (X-Men: First Class, Gladiator) behind the lens.
Natricia Bernard showed off her versatility choreographing both the ballet corps and the dancing hamsters (onset, the dancing was practical, as the professional dancers wore oversized baggy hamster gear... with Method's CG team digitally adding the hamster heads in post-production.)
Once again, no one in the commercial speaks a word about the car.
David&Goliath press release, "David&Goliath Delivers Fourth Integrated Campaign for Kia Soul," August 30, 2012. <http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/david-goliath-delivers-fourth-integrated-campaign-for-kia-soul-1696147.htm> (November 27, 2012)
Jean Halliday, "Kia's Hip-Hop Hamsters Are Baack!" Forbes, August 30, 2012. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeanhalliday/2012/08/30/kias-hip-hop-hamsters-are-baack/> (November 27, 2012)
Duncan McLeod, "Kia Hamsters Bringing Down The House," Inspiration Room, September 10, 2012 <http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2012/kia-hamsters-bringing-down-the-house/> (November 27, 2012)
Jennifer Wolfe, "Method Brings Down the House for Kia", Animation World Network, September 6, 2012. <https://www.awn.com/news/method-brings-down-house-kia> (May 13, 2020)