Kia Canada picks Strategic Objectives as PR AOR

The agency will help the automaker further develop its "surprising" brand platform.

Kia Canada has selected Strategic Objectives as its public relations agency of record to help the automotive company continue to develop its brand positioning and awareness in Canada.

The PR agency will support Kia with media relations, press opportunities, influencer partnerships and CSR initiatives.

Strategic Objectives has worked with Kia on an ad hoc basis since 2018. When Kia put out the RFP for a more permanent assignment, it was “pleased and proud to compete,” according to an email from the agency.

The RFP was issued in late 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Strategic Objectives did say, however, that it has begun working “proactively” with Kia to amend and adapt proposed programs “in response to our current situation.”

A young car company looking to further grow its presence in Canada, Kia celebrated its 20-year anniversary in the country last year and sold its one millionth vehicle.

“We selected Strategic Objectives based on their dynamic strategic thinking, deep understanding of the Kia brand, and their proven ability to execute flawlessly,” Susan Bernardo, national public relations manager for Kia Canada, said in a press release. “They have the deep automotive experience, combined with the out-of-the-box creativity needed to help build the Kia brand in Canada. We are proud to solidify our relationship with them.” Strategic Objectives has previously done work with automotive brands like Volkswagen.

The automaker’s key priorities this year are to increase overall awareness and affinity for the brand, through “creative storytelling” that highlights Kia’s “Power to Surprise” brand positioning. In January, Kia launched a new campaign about the “little surprises” in its vehicles – which play to the brand’s youthful positioning and how it integrates into a customer’s life.

Kia is also looking to generate further awareness for its award-winning vehicles, like the Telluride and Soul electric vehicles. Earlier this month, Kia Telluride won the 2020 World Car of the Year and the Kia Soul EV was named the 2020 World Urban Car at the World Car Awards. In January, the Telluride was awarded the 2020 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.

Strategic Objectives says its contract for the PR assignment is for 2020. The automaker also works with Innocean Worldwide on creative and media.