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More Car Buyers Consider Kia Thanks To Griffin Slam
CNBC.com | February 23, 2011 | 04:34 PM EST

One of the most interesting pieces of product placement was seen in the finals of the Slam Dunk Contest on Sunday when Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin dunked over the hood of a car.

The car wasn’t just any car.

It was a Kia, which is the official car of the NBA. Griffin didn’t just decide to dunk over the car at the last minute. It was arranged weeks ahead of time by Griffin’s management company, Excel Sports Management, Kia officials and its agency, IMG.

As part of the deal, Griffin and Kia agreed to have a more formal relationship if the dunk was pulled off and he won the contest, which he did.

The product placement is already bearing fruit. It’s not known how many cars Griffin’s jump actually helped sell, but Edmunds.com, an online resource for automotive information, says car buyers said they were 20 percent more likely to consider a Kia brand car on Sunday, the day after the dunk, compared to an average Sunday. They were twice as likely (104 percent) to consider buying an Optima, the specific model that Griffin dunked over.

“Whether product placement is successful or not all depends on the context,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Edmunds.com. “When I heard about and saw the Kia Optima placement, I knew it was brilliant.

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