Lincoln Ad: What WERE They Thinking?

Stephan Wilkinson
by Stephan Wilkinson
lincoln ad what were they thinking

Just 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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4 of 23 comments
  • Martin Albright Martin Albright on Feb 12, 2008

    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!

  • Johnson Schwanz Johnson Schwanz on Feb 12, 2008

    George Labrador, The Pilot IS a crossover - it's on the Honda Odyssey platform.

  • on Feb 12, 2008

    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.

  • Umterp85 Umterp85 on Feb 12, 2008

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