Ad Age: Lincoln MKX Spot Is Beyond the Pale

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Advertising Age [sub] reckons a TV ad featuring actor/singer Harry Connick Jr. touring Katrina-ravaged New Orleans in a Lincoln MKX [ YouTube] is unconscionable exploitation. In the great TTAC style, columnist Bob Garfield doesn't pull any punches. "They seem to have persuaded themselves somehow that they are doing something positive — celebrating the spirit of a city, shedding light on its challenges, recognizing its heroes. Bullshit. What they are doing is exploiting its victims to advertise luxury SUVs. It is vulgar. It is grotesque. It is disgusting." From there, Garfield returns to GM's contribution to the "automaker with a heart" ad theme. "Who can forget GM's 3,000-Dead Sale-a-bration, a yearend price promotion staged on the still-smoldering ashes of Ground Zero? Ford got in on the Sept. 11 sweepstakes too, with its own version dubbed "Ford Drives America." Yeah, to the brink of depravity" While we're not quite sure how these ads deprave American citizenry, hats off to Ad Age for calling out Young & Rubican's execrable example of Lincoln's dopey "Dreams" campaign.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Raskolnikov Raskolnikov on Nov 14, 2007

    kazoomaloo: Relax. Its not THAT offensive. Just think, all the free press Lincoln is getting now probably helped get some people into their showrooms.

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Nov 14, 2007

    Lousy ad for a gussied up Ford CUV. Then again, maybe the ad folks could do more than image/lifestyle ads if Lincoln had some unique, distinctly American Luxury product. Kinda irrelevant, though. The MKX is selling pretty well and this ad won't change that.

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Nov 14, 2007

    I don't see exploitation in this ad. Exploitation was when unscrupulous photo developers in Manhattan secretly kept duplicate negative films of the 9/11 attacks for themselves and then turned around and sold these pictures to tourists, clearly trying to make a fast buck off of this tragedy. This is simply an ad showing a proud man reminding America that his city is still here, that it's down but not out, and that it will survive. Take out the MKX and one could easily think this was an ad by the New Orleans chamber of commerce trying to revive their tourism industry or lure businesses back to the city. Certainly, I don't think that any N.O. resident that returned to help rebuild the city would look upon themselves as a victim, especially as the city is in the midst of trying to rebuild itself. Exploitation? Not from where I stand.

  • Eric_Stepans Eric_Stepans on Nov 14, 2007

    We had some borderline bad-taste advertisements here in Southern California recently. One radio ad that stands out was for one of the major auto parts store chains (AutoZone?). The spiel went something like "We at [auto parts store chain] want to help the victims of the recent Southern California wildfires. So come into one of our stores and we'll give you 20% off when you purchase a new air filter...." Yeah, that $5 they save on a Fram is *really* gonna help them rebuild their burned-down homes and shattered lives...