Blake Griffin benched by Kia as NBA season begins (VIDEO)

Michael James

Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers will appear four new NBA commercials for KIA with of "Next Level."

As the NBA season unfolds, Blake Griffin has been benched. But the all-star forward hasn’t done anything wrong. Rather, the Los Angeles Clippers’ forward will be featured in a new series of television commercials for Kia.

Griffin, who began his relationship with Kia in 2011, will appear in four new commercials under the theme of “Next Level” for Kia’s best-selling Optima midsize sedan.

With his dry sense of satire, Griffin has been “benched” in the commercial in a lounge chair “zone.” Griffin finds an eternally calm while reading the newspaper, playing chess, making the ultimate peanut butter and jelly sandwich or acting as a weather forecaster in the midst of an impressive basketball performance.


According to the manufacturer, “everyday people get in the zone for the first time while experiencing the next-level performance and sophistication of the all-new 2016 Optima.”

Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers will appear four new NBA commercials for KIA with of "Next Level."
Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers will appear in four new NBA commercials for KIA with a “Next Level” theme during the 2015-2016 season.

The multi-platform campaign, which includes television, digital and social media elements, debuts during Kia NBA Tip-Off 2015.

Created by David & Goliath, Kia’s advertising agency, the Griffin spots can be viewed on cable and network NBA programming and on all of Kia’s social and digital platforms, including and

Kia’s partnership with Griffin began in 2011 following his famous dunk over an Optima to win the Slam Dunk contest.  As a Kia brand ambassador, Griffin has helped grow the brand’s presence in both basketball and pop culture through national marketing campaigns, commercials and social media.


During the 2012-13 NBA season, Kia’s ad campaign featured Griffin offering helpful suggestions to younger versions of himself as Kia’s available UVO voice-activated infotainment system1 took his futuristic Optima on a time-traveling musical journey through the mid-1990s and early 2000s.

In the 2013-14 NBA season, Griffin and funnyman Jack McBrayer became a crime-fighting dynamic duo in “The Griffin Force,” trying to save the world one Kia Optima at a time.

For the 2014-15 NBA season, Griffin was cast in the lead role for several big-budget action movies set in the Old West, ancient Rome and an aircraft carrier, each time replacing his scripted mode of transportation – be it horse, chariot or fighter jet – with a Kia Optima.

The redesigned 2016 Optima, Kia’s best-selling nameplate, is available with engine choices, including a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder matched with to a seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). The 2016 Kia Optima also feature and upgraded and more spacious interior.

Article Last Updated: October 26, 2015.

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