Violence over Kia advertising reflects the division of car manufacturers over the environment

Violence over Kia advertising reflects the division of car manufacturers over the environment

It seemed like a good idea: improve the brand image of your car and the business in which you present your brand to be beautiful in nature and environment. Unfortunately for Kia, this plan turned out to be quite bad. Criticism of well-intentioned Kia advertising highlights the tensions that car manufacturers now find themselves in when it comes to the environment.


In the announcement of the new Kia Sportage 2023, Kia wanted to show his best side. In a U.S. business, a young man drives his Kia four-wheel-drive vehicle off the coast of Florida. He has attached a rear to the back of his car. When he breaks the sand, pieces of trash are left behind. Later we see the man putting garbage in a bag and putting it in the back of his car. And just in time: sea turtles emerge soon from the waves, crawling on the shore to lay eggs. Business ends when we see beautiful turtles running toward a clean beach. “Do better,” the voice says, as the man looks at the turtle with a satisfying smile next to his car.

Advertising agencies and various levels of American management no doubt thought this was a good idea. Not only is it interesting to show off the new Kia Sportage, but at the same time show what good you can do with the environment. Kia as a tool to improve the environment. Amazing, right? Dear advertising agency, here’s your money, we think it’s a good idea. That’s how it should be gone.


Unfortunately, the American public saw it differently. “This guy drives his car to the turtle-bearing area with a rake in the back of his car and then sits down and watches with satisfaction. This is one of the most crazy adventures I’ve ever seen, “it’s just one of the negative comments for an ad.” You did well, Kia, “another said.” So a car manufacturer who wants to show off from his or her environmentally friendly side can’t think of anything better than picking up trash with a car? “Someone else wonders.

Certainly not the feeling that Kia wanted to express with the ad. Of course, the person in the advertisement only wanted to clean the beach before the turtles came to lay their eggs, to prevent the young turtles from getting caught. Well-intentioned action, of course. But, as Queen Maxima would say:a little dumb.Because driving on a beach where turtles lay eggs is not only wise, but also strictly prohibited in Florida. There the best character cleaning trash cans.

You just have to keep driving


Now you can see Kia’s announcement and criticism as an event. Only an advertising agent with a car brand that did not handle it properly. You can still take it more broadly: this violence shows the difficulty of the automotive industry showing its green side. It is an example of an industry that is in division all the time. Car manufacturers have a desire to work in a better environment, while the cars they produce are a model of pollution. Like that Russia suddenly promote world peace, so to speak.

The division manifests itself in more varied times. When the heart is in the right place, a good message is delivered, and the audience shows hypocrisy behind the message. The F1 driver also noticed this, for example Sebastian Vettel at the Canadian Grand Prix. The T-shirt he wore during the race weekend and his hat showed protests against oil sand extraction in Canada. The extraction of oil sands is very bad for the environment, something that Vettel wants to draw attention to in its action. But, Alberta Canada’s energy minister said at once, it is you are completely hypocritical while this message is delivered by an F1 driver in Aston Martin sponsored by Saudi oil company Aramco.

We see the same contradiction in when we are invited for media trips. We are then airlifted to a remote place, where car manufacturers explain to us how their new car is most environmentally friendly.

Announcing Kia about the environment
Je! there was no space in the parking lot?

Environment: you do not do the same

Car manufacturers can never do well when it comes to the environment. Every environmental report, no matter how well-intentioned, directs directly to industrial vehicles. It does not matter how environmentally friendly the vehicles are. The extraction of raw materials and the manufacture of automobiles are very bad for the environment, even a clean car must be very fast. to cover that† And that’s just fine because you compare it to cars that are not environmentally friendly.

The only environmentally friendly message that car manufacturers can deliver is ‘drive a little.’ But of course they will not. When the French government made car brands mandatory calling on people in advertising to travel more by public transportthe automotive industry shouted the bloody massacre.

Fortunately, Kia admitted that the video was not shot on the beach where turtles visited regularly. Sebastian Vettel admitted after the Canadian Grand Prix that his protest was hypocritical. He added that the world must do something about oil extraction in Canada. But just as the environmental protection message is, it remains to be seen from the mouths of the automotive industry. Because as we have known for decades: The best environment starts with yourself