Behind The Work


Senior Writer and Editor
Hannah Lindley joined Havas Group in October 2021 as a Senior Writer and Editor. She has a background in corporate reputation management, journalism, and creative writing.
Havas Media Germany’s recent campaign with Kia that illustrates how quickly their newest electric car could charge through innovative use of TV programming won Gold at the German Media Awards for “Best TV Campaign” and was a finalist in the Festival of Media Global. We spoke to Denise Foehr, Head of Innovation for the agency, to learn more about the work.

Can you explain the campaign to us?

We wanted to support the market launch of the Kia EV6 with high-coverage measures that brought the car’s unique features to life for potential customers. To announce the product, we were tasked with implementing innovative and unusual media measures designed in a way to offer direct added value for consumers.

There were two revolutionary factors at play: the extremely short charging time of the Kia EV6 & our decision not to use traditional or classic TV commercials for the launch. Instead, we used a trick: we let the time BETWEEN two TV commercials speak for us. How did we do that? The viewer participated in real time in the 18-minute charging process that we directly link with the program on their television. This approach outperformed last year’s campaigns so clearly that we could hardly believe it – the Kia EV6 saw 400% more test drives.

How did you come up with the idea?

Electric cars are inspiring more and more people and becoming more heavily saturated in the market. But consumers often have questions about their charging time – what does that look like? The Kia EV6 provides a convincing answer: it can charge from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes, for up to a 422 km range. That speed is exactly what we wanted to make clear to TV viewers.

With its fast-charging technology, the all-electric EV6 is unique, both as a car and in its price range.

However, due to existing COVID-19 limitations, we had the challenge of conveying this experience without the EV6 being able to be directly experienced. That’s how we came up with the TV idea – no traditional TV spot but a special TV stunt!

Detailed strategy:

For the first time, we relied not on a classic TV spot but on an emotional storytelling purely via a special advertising format. What’s special about this is that our message is already anchored in the viewers’ heads. We just have to reprogram what they have in mind by playing with their distorted perception of time: “Didn’t we have a commercial break just a minute ago?” We used the seemingly short time between two commercial breaks for ourselves and let the viewers participate in the charging process of the EV6 in real time. In that short time, the Kia EV6 is charged to an incredible 80% and the viewer experiences the process firsthand.

“We were tasked with implementing innovative and unusual media measures designed in a way to offer direct added value for consumers.”

Did you face any challenges rolling out the work?

Indeed – it was a challenge to have the TV stations align the programs they’re showing with the charging time. Having the reminding frame split at exactly 4 minutes 30 seconds and after exactly 18 minutes was quite a challenge. In Germany advertising and TV programming are strictly separated. But we found a way!

What kind of results did this campaign generate? 

This new approach led to campaign results that had never been achieved before. First and foremost, we saw a 400% increase in test drives and unprecedented website visits. This was the most effective campaign in over 2 years, and we achieved all this without a classic TV campaign – simply by using emotional and innovative storytelling.

Do you see ways to replicate this idea for similar products?

It’s an idea that might work for any product where time plays a role – maybe for a food delivery service or something similar. And it could also work the other way round for something that takes a long time!

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