By on February 12, 2008

w043.jpgJust opened the February 18 issue of Fortune and came across a full-page ad for— I’m guessing here— the new Lincoln MXZ. (That’s the sedan, for those of us who don’t memorize alphanumeric codes for a living.) It’s a lazy photo. The f-stop parked the car on the first clean grass he came to, in front of an ugly, anonymous suspension bridge. A young blonde in a sports bra and shorts stands in front of the car. She’s plain-faced and athletic. The shorts make it obvious that her left leg is gone, replaced by a prosthesis and one of those boomerang-shaped carbon-fiber “feet” recently outlawed by the Olympics. Huh? The copy’s no help. “Don’t ever give up on what you believe in,” it reads. “Not once. Not ever. My dream is to do extraordinary things every day. Life’s calling. Where to next?” I’m supposed to buy a Lincoln because she’s tough? I admire Sarah Reinertsen's guts and beauty. But at the risk of being labeled a unreconstructed bipedalist (literally), I'm afraid it's not an image I’m tough enough to look at for a long period of time. And anyway, the car is half-obscured. You have to wonder who conceived this ad, what kind of websites they frequent and which Ford exec approved it. Message to same: it's about the car, stupid.   

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23 Comments on “Lincoln Ad: What WERE They Thinking?...”


  • avatar
    NickR

    Somehow some sublimal process is making you want to by the car. All joking aside, that ads makes no sense to me either.

    Still, nothing is worse than the ‘Caddy that Zigs’.

  • avatar
    peoplewatching04

    It gets better… if you go to Lincoln’s website, they have a whole series of ads that feature Sarah among others that do not mention the car at all in the ad. Although, maybe that’s the point.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Sarah Reinersten is an Ironman marathon winner as an amputee. Also, she competed on the Amazing Race a couple of seasons ago.

    I guess Lincoln is trying to tell us that Lincoln buyers are overachievers, self-made, etc…

    It would help if she was a better known athlete..

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Stephan, if it’s about the car, then why would anyone buy a Lincoln?

    Sorry Lincoln, but long before I step foot in a L-M dealer, I’ll be thinking CTS, G35, 335, TSX, maybe even a C-class or Passat.

  • avatar
    L47_V8

    I remember a few months back when they launched the Harry Connick, Jr./New Orleans/MKX commercial. AdWeek panned it big-time because it barely shows the car, and it seems very forced and mechanical (it does). Connick is driving around N.O. in an MKX talking about his roots there (though you’d have to be a car buff to realize it’s even a Lincoln at that point). He delivers crawfish or something to some people working on a house, and yells at them through the big sunroof (showing off features?). Then, a quick shot of the MKX and him standing in back of it distributing food and supplies. Then, the “Reach Higher” splash screen.

    Lincoln’s ad people are idiots.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    I’ve seen he TV ad with Sarah Reinersten and it’s just as bad and costs even more money to not really show the car. 90% of ad agencies these days suck, must be the easiest job in the world come up with some stupid lame ad and get paid millions for it.

  • avatar
    dwford

    BTW, before you dismiss the new Fords and Lincolns, know that we are now seeing more import trades than ever before. Yesterday we had a customer trade an 05 Honda Pilot for an 08 Edge. Last month I had a customer give up his Acura MDX lease for a Lincoln MKX, and he had already turned in his Acura RL for an MKZ. We have a brand new 07 Civic coupe we just took in trade.

    Wait a sec, those are all Hondas… if Honda customers are trading in for Fords and Lincolns what does that say???

  • avatar

    Before anyone deciding to buy a new Lincoln or any new Ford Product it would be wise to play wait and see if Ford will be around for the long term! Its never a good deal to buy any new vehicle in its first year and for anyone trading in a Honda Pilot for an unproven MKZ must have rocks in his head! The Pilot is a very good truck, not a cross over like the MKZ!

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    dwford: “if Honda customers are trading in for Fords and Lincolns what does that say?”

    It says not to trust isolated anecdotes. Honda and Toyota grow sales every year. GM and Ford shrink.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Park Jill Wagner on the hood, not TOO much artificial there.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    There have been worse advertisements. The notorious 1990 Infiniti Q45 introductory campaign did not include actual photos or information about the car. Sales tanked out of the gate and never recovered.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Gardiner,
    You’re right. The odd thing is that Infiniti didn’t need to hide their product (as Lincoln does). The Q45 came with a rockin 280hp V8 right out of the gate, blowing away Lexus and the Germans.

    Like they say you only get one chance to make a first impression.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    Video (12.5Mb): http://www.tarracers.com/downloads/Runner.mpeg

  • avatar
    jthorner

    You can see a making of the ad short bit here:

    http://www.lincoln.com/extras/tvads.asp?ad=4

    The funny thing is, Sarah arrives for the photo shoot in a big bus :).

  • avatar
    L47_V8

    Gardiner Westbound :
    February 12th, 2008 at 10:01 am

    There have been worse advertisements. The notorious 1990 Infiniti Q45 introductory campaign did not include actual photos or information about the car. Sales tanked out of the gate and never recovered.

    Funny thing was, even after Infiniti launched a proper ad campaign (the second-generation “Q41″ was pushed incessantly by actor Johnathan Pryce, the third-generation had the spectacular [in my opinion] “Infiniti Anthem” ad campaign behind it, as well as feature-pushing creatives like the “moth-to-a-flame” seven-reflector headlamp ad, and the “speed” wind-tunnel ad), sales still didn’t recover. 2002 was decent, but it’s been barely-known since.

  • avatar
    red dawg

    dwford: “if Honda customers are trading in for Fords and Lincolns what does that say?”

    It tells me they are STUPID and just went from HIGH QUALITY products to CRAP !!!!!!!!

    They’ll learn their lesson when trdae-in time comes and they get little to nothing for those Fords simply because of the fact they are FORDS !!!!!! Honda has one of the highest trade in values of any brand on the market, something that certainly CAN’T be said for FoMoCo products !!!!!

    I can see smart customers going from FORD crap to Honda and Acura but hardly the other way around. But then again, some people just don’t know any better cause if they did they would STOP buying FORDS!!!!!!!!

  • avatar
    Virtual Insanity

    Nifty add, yes…but I think Jalop has you guys beat on the sarcasm and unadulterated open misogony and sexism of 1950, 1960s and 1970s auto motive adds. Still, better than the early Infiniti commercials.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    Calm down Red Dawg. I don’t know if you could make your ad hominem attack anymore vitriolic. Personally, I couldn’t see myself owning one of those Hondas either, but I wouldn’t call people who do own them stupid. Tasteless maybe, but not stupid. ;-)

    Save the personal attacks for people who buy GM cars. I, myself, am a recovering Saturn owner, 1,156 days clean and sober.

    While I haven’t seen the print ad, the Harry Connick, Jr. ad is running pretty frequently around here. The first time i saw it, I didn’t know what car brand, least of all car, they were trying to sell until the last few seconds. Not a good ad in my opinion. Seems to be more of an ad for Harry Connick Jr. than for Lincoln. At least Mercury did a decent job with Jill Wagner, not that I would buy a Mercury. But, at least I knew what car was being sold, and it held my attention (the ad that is, not the car).

  • avatar
    umterp85

    Red Dawg: You are simply amazing. Love your posts—most entertainment the dollar can buy.

    Sherborne Sean: “It says not to trust isolated anecdotes. Honda and Toyota grow sales every year. GM and Ford shrink”

    I agree…it is very dangerous to trust isolated anecdotes. In DWFORD’s case however, his Lincoln anecdotes are supported by FACT—Lincoln grew sales last year +9.1%. Guess some of that increase are due to the conquest sales hes is referring to. BTW—I traded my ’01 BMW X5 for a ’07 MKX. Haven’t looked back…it has been a great vehicle. Interestingly (this is for you REDDAWG)…my 8 year old asked why the Lincoln isn’t going in the shop like the way the BMW had to all of the time ?

    BTW—I agree this ad sucks. The MILF MKX ad is the best Lincoln ad in the last year.

  • avatar
    Martin Albright

    I’d cut them some slack. Advertising anymore is often quite “indirect.” The idea (as I understand it – I have no background in advertising) is to create a feeling and then associate that feeling with a product.

    The ads that appropriate a popular song are brilliant because once the song becomes associated with the product, then every time that song plays on the radio, it is a subliminal ad for that product (think of Chevy’s use of John Cougar Mellencamp and Bob Seger here, or Caddy’s use of Led Zeppelin.)

    Obviously FoMoCo is trying to associate overcoming hardships (hurricane Katrina; Loss of a limb), and achieving great things with their brand.

    Certainly it’s no worse than Caddillac’s current ads that seem to imply that your car will make you have an orgasm!

  • avatar
    Johnson Schwanz

    George Labrador,

    The Pilot IS a crossover – it’s on the Honda Odyssey platform.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Just reading the comments and the article it is clear that this nonsensical naming scheme of Lincoln’s has got to go.

    In the third line of the article, they write MXZ…then in the comments, someone types this:

    “anyone trading in a Honda Pilot for an unproven MKZ must have rocks in his head! The Pilot is a very good truck, not a cross over like the MKZ!”
    ^^^
    I think you meant MKX…fine sir.

    The apes running Lincoln…and Ford for that matter need to be given a banana and locked up. Everything Ford does lately just screams of desperation and stupidity.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    …if getting quality levels to that of Honda nd Toyota is desperation…I’m all for it.


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