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Kia Helps Save New Year’s Eve in Times Square

The venerable Times Square New Year’s event in New York City gets a major boost from Kia and the Kia Sorrento.


If ever there was a celebration that needs all the help it can get, it’s New Year’s Eve. Kia comes to the rescue with a cross-country road trip to deliver “2021” to New York City’s Times Square in time for the ball to drop.

OK, before going any further, it’s important to stress that nothing sounds more dangerous from a public health standpoint than a pandemic road trip. (Don’t try this at home kids.) Kia assures us it adhered to CDC recommended protocols regarding face masks and social distancing guidelines.

2021 Kia Sorento SX

Granted, this is all a big marketing ploy by Kia but the company is doing something cool for New Year’s Eve. To recognize and thank them for their hard work and dedication, Kia will host frontline workers and their families so they can safely experience the thrill of New Year’s in Times Square for themselves. The families will be shuttled to and from Times Square for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in a fleet of 2021 Kia Sorento and Telluride SUVs.

Otherwise, Times Square is closed to the public, thank heavens. Lots of New Yorkers (heck, lots of Americans) are willing to disregard public safety needs for their right to party.

Kia Motors America, a sponsor of the New Year’s Eve Countdown, will ring in the arrival of 2021 with a groundbreaking effort for the all-new Sorento SUV. The campaign began in early December with a Sorento embarking on a coast-to-coast tour of the U.S. on a mission to deliver the iconic “2021” New Year’s Eve numerals to One Times Square in time for the ball drop.

On New Year’s Eve, a new creative campaign featuring the Sorento will air on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021 on ABC. Created by David & Goliath, Kia’s creative agency of record, the campaign includes a 30-second spot entitled, “The World’s First Storytelling Machine,” which you can watch above.

The spot portrays the all-new 2021 Sorento as a “powerful, highly sophisticated tool – a Storytelling Machine – to help us all discover stories worth telling, especially at a time when experiences are limited.” Kudos to the brain that thought up those words. By the way, a photo of a space traveler is included with this story because it just seems to sum up 2020 so well.

Kia Sorento astronaut

Hats off to Kia for allowing frontline workers to enjoy Times Square on New Year’s Eve. How are you celebrating New Year’s Eve? Have any cool automotive resolutions for 2021? Share them below in the comments.

Keith Griffin covers Hyundai and Kia at Torque News. He has been writing continuously about cars since 2002. Keith used to be a researcher/writer for US News & World Report, as well as numerous car sites, including Carfax and Car Gurus, and a contributor to The Boston Globe. Most recently, Keith was the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter, on @LinkedIn and on his Indepth Auto Facebook page.


Chuck C. (not verified)    January 1, 2021 - 1:07AM

Did you see what a disaster it was, covering that ball with a Kia ad? Man, oh man. Just when you thought you'd seen the depths of corporate insensitivity. You need to do a follow up. They didn’t save it. They ruined it. America would've been better off without a ball drop, if that was the alternative. A fitting end to a depressing year.

Charlie (not verified)    January 1, 2021 - 2:22PM

A. The god-awful NYE KIA ad was a perfect example of how capitalism has nailed the coffin of the wholesome American holiday.
B. This “article” is clearly an advert. Kia “saves” New Years? Come on, have some backbone in your values. Or the pursuit of money has blinded you to everything else.

Carlene (not verified)    January 1, 2021 - 4:51PM

If Kia's intention was to honor the hard working and self sacrificing front line workers, that is wonderful; HOWEVER, giving should come from the heart, with humility, and not from the corporate pocketbook. When you do good for others, you should not do it for the recognition you will get. Otherwise, you are using the people you "do good" for, as it has nothing to do with them, it has to do with an ulterior motive. Kia would have been better office supporting the front line workers as they did, letting the ball drop for the whole hurting world to see, and let people read the next day of their charitable and selfless deed.