The Hammies and Gangsta Culture?
Fast Company's Laurel Sutton surfaces the possibility that Kia, after its eye-catching hamster commercials, may rename the Soul. An excerpt:
Which gets me back to the hammies. With the Kia Soul, the company found a perfect match of brand and brand image as exemplified in the TV ads. You couldn't have done the same commercials with a car named Morning (another Kia model). The whole joke is that the Soul has so much soul that it's the car of choice for people who aren't part of the bland, boring, middle-aged go-nowhere American culture. I don't know if Kia is specifically targeting African Americans, but they certainly are capitalizing on the marketability of gangsta culture to a young buying population, no matter their ethnicity.
[Execupundit note: I'll ignore the "bland, boring, middle-aged go-nowhere" jab. I've wondered about the implication that the Soul is super-small; i.e., small enough for a hamster.]