Kia doesn’t get Lost in online buy

A five-month online sponsorship of Lost has resulted in high traffic to the brand's website as fans flock to catch up on the final few episodes of the hit TV show.

One of television’s most popular cliffhanger series is coming to an end this month, as the last few episode of Lost air Tuesday nights on CTV. To capitalize on the last-season buzz, ZenithOptimedia included a five-month online domination of the Lost page on as part of the Kia 2011 Sorento campaign, including a customized Lost video player.

It’s a strategy that’s paid off, Gah-Yee Won, account executive at ZenithOptimedia in Toronto, tells MiC. Since Jan. 25, CTV’s online video player has become one of the top 10 drivers to the Kia website. According to CTV’s Omniture analytics, there have been approximately 70,000 clicks to the Kia marquee on the page and more than 3 million video starts between February and May of 2010.

In addition to Lost‘s enduring popularity, Won credits the success of the buy to the sleek format of the execution, in which the video player window is housed within a custom ad unit featuring the Sorento. The online sponsorship also includes a banner ad at the top of the page, branding on the marquee and a big-box ad lower on the page.

‘We’re really interested in running more than just banners,’ says Won. ‘It’s a seamless integration, it’s part of the whole video experience so it doesn’t look like there’s a car stuck right there, sticking out like a sore thumb.’

With creative by Toronto-based Innocean, the Kia campaign also includes TV and print advertisements, targeting adults aged 18 to 48. The Lost sponsorship will run for a month after the show ends, in order to reach viewers who missed episodes, or are coming back for more.

‘Knowing the online practices of people who watch these things, most of them watch the day after it’s released,’ says Won. ‘But there are still people who come back and watch it again, who know that it lives a little bit longer online so they have time to go and see it. It’s not quite the appointment TV that your television set is,’ Won says.