Kia’s new pet highlights appeal of ‘Small but Mighty’ new Picanto

Published | 28/04/2011

  • New marketing campaign to target ‘progressive, modern, mainstream’ consumers
  • Humorous approach features ‘Henry’ the cat as Picanto’s playful co-star
  • Multi-channel campaign goes live today (28 April 2011)
  • Second-generation Picanto on-sale from mid-April

An innovative new marketing campaign that highlights the complete transformation that Kia’s Picanto has undergone and the multitude of ‘grown-up’ features it now offers, goes live today.

Promoting the theme “small but mighty”, the new campaign coincides with Picanto models arriving at European dealer showrooms, and is targeted at a new group of consumers – progressive, modern, mainstream car buyers. This shift reflects the change in appeal of the second-generation Picanto, moving from a focused pragmatic and rational choice to a more emotional, lifestyle-oriented purchase.

Co-starring with Picanto in the new campaign is ‘Henry’ – a ‘small but mighty’ cat. Henry’s fun and inquisitive nature, remarkable agility and surprisingly big personality are used to reflect the new Picanto’s attributes in a full 360-degree campaign, which includes TV commercials, digital communications and print media.

“Our ‘New Picanto. Small but Mighty’ campaign challenges the traditional view that a small car can’t be big on personality and design,” comments Benny Oeyen, Vice President Marketing and Product Planning, Kia Motors Europe. “This impactful, amusing and unusual multimedia campaign repositions the new Picanto as appealing to a very different target audience.”

“Kia is a challenger brand with a great sense of creativity and style. This new campaign builds on that, and will continue to increase our visibility in the blogosphere and on social networks, enabling us to build even stronger connections with our target consumers.”

The ‘Small but Mighty’ TV commercial showcases new Picanto’s striking style, inside and out, its premium equipment and remarkable 7-Year Kia Warranty. The spot shows Henry mastering various challenges and going through various adventures while hunting for the new Picanto.

The Online campaign then shows the Picanto from Henry the cat’s point of view. His playful antics take viewers on a 360-degree guided tour of Kia’s new small car. A scattering of Polaroid photos (close-ups of Henry’s best features) use metaphors of the cat to highlight the car’s many great qualities. When Henry jumps inside the car, he finds an iPad and users can take control of his paw to explore a gallery of Picanto photos and videos. There’s also a special behind-the-scenes “Making the TV commercial” video filmed from the cat’s perspective in a funny and entertaining way.

‘Small but Mighty’ is the latest embodiment of a revolution in Kia marketing that echoes the transformation of its product line-up. Earlier this year, Kia created a humorous online pre-marketing campaign, an innovative blog “PicantoLeaks” ( in which a supposedly anonymous informer “revealed” incredible secrets about the new Kia Picanto.

Throughout the campaign, across 11 European countries, questions such as “Why does the red paint of the new Picanto glow so mysteriously?”, “Who is behind the distinctive ‘face’ of Kia’s small car?” and “What happened when Kia went searching for an unusual shade of black?” were answered in the most unlikely and amusing ways.

To see the ‘New Picanto. Small but mighty’ campaign, visitors can go to

Kia worked closely with the Anti Animal Cruelty League (AACL) in the making of the campaign to ensure its feline co-star enjoyed every aspect of his time in front of, and behind, the camera.

Editors’ Notes

Kia Motors Europe
Kia Motors Europe is the European sales, marketing, and service arm of Kia Motors Corporation. With its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, it covers 25 markets in Europe.

About Kia Motors Corporation
Kia Motors Corporation ( – a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart – was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands.
Over 1.5 million vehicles a year are produced at 13 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries. These vehicles are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries.
Kia today has more than 42,000 employees and annual revenues of almost US$14.6 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup.
Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan – ‘The Power to Surprise’ – represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.

Press Contact

Ilona Tzudnowski
PR Manager Europe
Tel.: +49 69 850 928 357

Kia Motors Europe GmbH
Theodor-Heuss-Allee 11
60486 Frankfurt, Germany


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PicantoLeaks: Kia reveals amazing ‘secrets’ about its new small car
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Next generation Kia Picanto – a design that’s small but grown-up
04/01/2011 Next generation Kia Picanto – a design that’s small but grown-up

Press Contacts

Vladislav Alexiev

Manager Product Communications

Phone: +4969850928354