Kia Motors America Wins Bronze "Effie" at the 2012 North American Effie Awards


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"Not Your Average Slam Dunk" Spot Featuring Basketball Superstar Blake Griffin Was Key Element of Largest New Vehicle Launch Effort in Company History

-- Youthful and energetic brand lauded for iconic moment that changed perception and consideration of Kia

-- Fastest-Growing Car Company in the U.S.(1) engages basketball fans and dramatically increases consumer awareness through powerful sports marketing

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IRVINE, CA--May 24, 2012: When Blake Griffin leaped over a Kia Optima to win the 2011 NBA Sprite® Slam Dunk contest, footage of the dunk immediately went viral online and Kia Motors America (KMA) captured the historic moment with a 30-second ad spot that began airing less than 72 hours later. Yesterday, "Not Your Average Slam Dunk" received the Bronze Effie award in the "Single Impact Engagement" category at the 2012 North American Effie Awards ceremony in New York. The annual Effie Awards (short for effective) presented by Effie Worldwide, Inc., highlight the most effective marketing communications efforts in the U.S. each year.

In the midst of the largest new-vehicle launch in company history, Blake Griffin's slam dunk over a Kia Optima generated more than five million YouTube views, garnered 385 media placements and increased consumer purchase consideration by more than 20 percent, all within 48 hours of the dunk. Following the multifaceted Optima launch efforts and iconic slam dunk, significant increases in consumer awareness and perception of the Kia brand have led to record sales of the Optima midsize sedan as April marked the fifth consecutive month that the Optima was Kia's best-selling vehicle. The slam dunk also was the perfect catalyst for Kia, the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA, to connect with Blake Griffin, who is now a global ambassador for the Kia brand and is the only professional basketball player with a global marketing relationship with an automaker.

"The unprecedented stunt of having a basketball star dunk over the Optima not only electrified spectators and sports fans everywhere, but landed the Optima in the center of a social media conversation that grew exponentially from the moment the ball went through the hoop," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "It is an honor to win the Bronze Effie for the slam dunk that broke all conventions and the ad spot that created lasting impressions of the Optima for sports fans and consumers alike."

In 2011, the Kia Soul marketing initiative earned the Gold Effie after taking home a Silver Effie in 2010.

About the 2012 Optima

The 2012 Kia Optima stands apart from the crowd with its head-turning design, fun-to-drive performance, modern amenities and long list of standard safety features. Kia's second U.S.-built* vehicle offers drivers cutting-edge technologies, including a standard eight-speaker Infinity®(2) audio system, HD Radio(3), and Kia's UVO powered by Microsoft®(4) voice-activated infotainment and communications system with a starting MSRP of $19,500(5).

Kia's Unprecedented Growth

Kia Motors is one of the world's fastest moving global automotive brands; from 2009-2011 Kia launched more new vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, and under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer earned a reputation as an industry leader in automotive styling. Kia Motors America's full line of fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive cars and CUVs has earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In 2011, KMA recorded its 17th consecutive year of market share growth, thanks in part to the largest increase of any major brand in perceived quality(6) and the industry's highest brand loyalty ranking(7). Kia's U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia €“ KMMG €“ is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and builds the company's two best-selling vehicles in the U.S. €“ the Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan*. Kia's value and technology-laden 2012 model year lineup also includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.

About Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA and LPGA. In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.

(1) Based on 5-year cumulative growth between 12-month retail sales for periods ending April 2007 and April 2012 of all U.S. automotive brands.

* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX Trims and certain LX Trims only) and GDI Turbo are built in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.

(2) Infinity is a registered trademark of Harman International Industries, Incorporated.

(3) HD Radio and the HD, HD Radio, and "Arc" logos are proprietary trademarks of iBiquity Digital Corporation.

(4) Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

(5) Starting prices are manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), MSRP excludes $750 destination and handling fee, title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.

(6) Source: Automotive Lease Guide Spring 2011 Perceived Quality Study.

(7) Source: Experian Automotive Q2 2011 market analysis.

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