John Hillcoat Directs Kia Super Bowl Spot For David&Goliath; Campaign Includes Initiative To Combat Youth Homelessness


Robert Goldrich
Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020


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What would you tell a younger you trying to make your way through the world? To heap a little wisdom and encouragement on the kid you once were. For Josh Jacobs, who rose from homelessness in middle school to football stardom, it is an inspiring message of hope and determination in Kia Motors’ Super Bowl spot for the all-new 2021 Seltos SUV.

Created by David&Goliath and directed by John Hillcoat of Serial Pictures, the :60 titled “Tough Never Quits” finds Jacobs driving a Kia Seltos in his home state of Oklahoma and reflecting on a time when life was much more challenging and the odds were stacked against him. As he asks, “I wonder what I would tell my younger self if I ever saw him?” he notices a young boy – representing a younger Josh Jacobs – running on the streets. The voiceover continues, “I’d tell him, Josh, it’s going to be hard growing up homeless…but you have to believe in yourself.” The two Josh’s share a ride in the Seltos through some of the places that made Josh who he is today. Eventually arriving at the field Josh first played at as a youngster. The film finally transitions from the Young Josh at the local field to the ‘present day Josh’ as he exits the tunnel at a stadium during a game. “Push Yourself to be someone and I promise someday you will,” are his final words of wisdom.

Nate Morgan and Jon Darling of SOUTH Music were composers on "Tough Never Quits," with sound design by Gus Goven of RNDM ORDR. Audio post mixer was Nathan Dubin of Margarita Mix.

In support of Jacobs’ inspirational story, Kia’s Yards Against Homelessness charitable initiative is being rolled out as an extension of the brand’s “Give It Everything” brand personality. Yards Against Homelessness continues Kia’s efforts to support and elevate America’s youth following the creation of “The Great Unknowns” scholarship last year. With Yards Against Homelessness, Kia is pledging a $1,000 donation for every yard gained in the Super Bowl divided among three charity partners: Covenant House, Positive Tomorrows and StandUp for Kids.

As part of the initiative, from January 29 through February 16, Super Bowl viewers and people throughout the U.S. are invited to make a donation by texting HOME to 41444 to help Kia and Josh Jacobs in the fight against youth homelessness. 

“Having a voice and standing for something gives brands permission to inspire true change,” said David Angelo, founder and creative chairman of David&Goliath. “And what better platform than the world’s largest stage to draw wide spread attention to the 4.2 million children living on the streets and to help give them hope by generating awareness and funds. I can’t image a better purpose for a brand than to share this amazing story of Josh Jacobs and how he was able to find his way through his toughest challenge. It’s giving proof that when you give it everything, anything is possible.”

Additional elements of the integrated campaign include print, digital, social and outdoor, as well as the short film Tough Never Quits – The Documentary which explores the deeper story of Josh Jacobs and his early life on the streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he was raised by his father (alongside four siblings). The film features interviews with Josh Jacobs himself and his father, Marty, as well as key figures from Josh’s childhood, including the football coach who first spotted his raw talent. 


Client Kia Agency David&Goliath, El Segundo, Calif. David Angelo, founder & chairman; Yumi Prentice, president; Mark Monteiro, copilot; Mark Koelfgen, Ben Purcell, executive creative directors/copywriters; Frauke Tiemann, John O’Hea, group creative directors/art directors; Stephen Clarke, group creative director/copywriter; John Davis, group creative director; Peter Watson, art director; Caleb Nyberg, Alex Lee, copywriters; Quinn Boker Jr., jr. art director; Bennett Austin, Kevin Reilly, associate creative directors/art directors; Nick Micale, Sarah Mosseller, associate creative directors/copywriters; Paul Albanese, managing director, broadcast production; Curt O’Brien, executive producer; Justine Kleeman, executive digital producer; Danielle Watchman, sr. producer; Genevieve Shah, digital producer; Natalia Celis, jr. producer; Cara Nieto, executive art producer; Jasmine Spraglin, sr. strategist; Peter Bassett, managing director, integrated production & technology services; Meagan Steinkamp, Kurtis Mirick, digital designers. Production Serial Pictures, Culver City, Calif.  John Hillcoat, director; Phillippe Le Sourd, DP; Violaine Etienne, founding partner/exec producer; Jennifer Gee, head of production; Tracy Broaddus, producer. Editorial Spinach Conor O’Neill, editor; Rex Lowry, assistant editor; Jonathan Carpio, exec producer; Patricia Gushikuma, producer. Color MPC Mark Gethin, colorist; Nate Seymour, color assistant; Diane Valera, producer. Post/VFX a52 Andy McKenna, visual effects supervisor; Andrew Romatz, CG supervisor; Adam Flynn, Kevin Stokes, 2D VFX artists; Patrick Nugent, sr. exec producer; Jillian Lynes, producer. Music SOUTH Music, Santa Monica, Calif. Nate Morgan, Jon Darling, composers; Dan Pritikin, Matt Drenik, creative directors; Ann Haugen, exec producer; Ignacio Zas, producer. Sound Design RNDM ORDR, bicoastal Gus Koven, sound designer; Rory Doggett, creative director; Guin Frehling, exec producer; Nick Tuttle, assistant sound designer. Audio Post Margarita Mix, Santa Monica, Calif. Nathan Dubin, mixer/engineer; Whitney Morris, Paula Arnett, exec producers; Brian Frank, operations manager.

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