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NEW YORK — Kia picked up yet another award for one of its 2010 vehicles, the Soul. This time the automaker received the nod during the Nielsen Automotive Advertising Awards for Automotive Ad of the Year.

Officials explained that the Nielsen Automotive Advertising Awards are based on results from Nielsen IAG's National Ad Effectiveness Study. The analysis employs an online panel of TV viewers who have watched programs within a natural viewing environment. Then, panelists answer survey questions about the programs and the commercials they watched.

Finalists for the 2010 IAG Automotive Advertising Awards were determined based on ad performance results from commercials which were launched in calendar year 2009. Kia received the honor as part of the ongoing New York International Auto Show.

"Truly effective advertising starts with a great creative idea," noted Nielsen automotive president Lois Miller.

"When you combine that idea with a memorable and unique hook that grabs viewers' attention, you are going to get the results that we saw from Kia this year," Miller added.

The award-winning TV commercial highlighting the Soul depicts city and suburban streets inhabited exclusively by hamsters that are mindlessly running in place inside their exercise wheels. Suddenly, a molten red Kia Soul pulls up to a stoplight and the passenger window rolls down to reveal a trio of paw-tapping, music-loving hamsters who have discovered "A New Way to Roll."

The firm David&Goliath created the spot for Kia, which also has received accolades from Popular Mechanics and Cars.com for the Soul.

"The Soul was designed to stand out in a sea of sameness and that same philosophy guided the creative development of the hamster campaign and to position Soul as Kia's affordable halo vehicle, explained Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing for Kia Motors America.

"Soul was the first vehicle to emerge from Kia's design-led transformation, and the hamsters quickly became a viral success and grabbed the attention of young and young-at-heart buyers looking for something with a unique personality and turned Soul into an overnight sales success story for the brand," Sprague added.

Kia noted that the Soul offers numerous safety features. Among them are an antilock brake system, electronic stability control, front and rear crumple zones and side-impact door beams. MSRP for the five-door hatchback begins below $14,000.

The automaker mentioned that the award-winning spot can be seen online at www.kiasoul.com.