By Barry Janoff
December 4, 2015: LeBron James reads tweets written about him.
And sometimes he reacts.
That's the premise of a new campaign from Kia Motors, in which James reads comments about him on Twitter and goes about answering in person the ones he finds to be most egregious.
In this campaign, according to Kia, James assembles a team of experts in his garage command post to help prove he drives a Kia K900 by responding to real tweets."
In the first, "Ten Mil," James, whose alliance with Kia sees him touting the upscale K900, reacts to a Twitter user identified as "Trey Herbert @TH_3," who tweets, "I'll bet anyone $10,000,000 that LeBron doesn't roll up to the games in a Kia."
James, sitting in a luxurious room that features a life-size painting of him, takes action by first clearing the move with his lawyers and then getting into his Kia K900 to collect on the bet, bringing along an entourage of police and an armored truck.
Upcoming spots, “1,000%” and “Spaceship.” James responds to the tweets, “There’s a thousand percent chance that there’s a zero percent chance that LeBron drives a Kia" and “LeBron drives a Kia like I fly a spaceship.
The spots will run on ESPN, ABC, TNT, NBA TV and other outlets.
James signed on as K900 Luxury Ambassador in October 2014 after, according to Kia and James, he reaching out to Kia — the official automotive partner of the NBA — for a firsthand experience with the flagship sedan.
“I was a Kia K900 driver and fan before we decided to become partners,” said James in a statement. “For me, a partnership has to be authentic and real to who I am, and that’s what makes this one so special.”
According to Tim Chaney, vp-marketing communications for Kia Motors America, “The award-winning K900 exemplifies the incredible transformation of the Kia brand, and as a tastemaker who is not afraid to go his own way, LeBron James plays an important role in our efforts to change perception by challenging consumers to discover the new Kia.
“LeBron is pushing people to question everything they think they know about our brand, and we could not be more proud of the fact that he can often be seen driving in and around the Cleveland area in a Kia K900," said Chaney.
The automaker said that, thanks to James and the umbrella “Fit For A King” campaign, "sales of Kia’s rear-drive luxury sedan (are) up considerably over 2014 levels."
James has some 25.5 million followers on his Twitter account.
Support includes Internet and social media. Lead agency is David&Goliath, Los Angeles.
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