By on December 28, 2017

2018 Lincoln Navigator Ad

Ford has been fine-tuning the Lincoln brand for a while now and improving the cars is only half the story. A luxury nameplate needs more than a lineup of quality autos, it needs prestige. Since taking on Matthew McConaughey as its official spokesmodel, Lincoln has witnessed an uptick in sales — growing by 1.6 percent year over year through November 2017 in the United States.

How much of that can be attributed directly to the Oscar-winning actor is up for debate. But you don’t mess with the formula when you start making headway, so Lincoln has decided to press onward with another weird add with him in the driver’s seat of the 2018 Navigator. 

According to the Detroit Free Press the commercial won’t officially air until the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl kick off on New Year’s Day. However, since we live in the Age of the Internet, YouTube already has it on offer. The spot is all about achieving the  “Perfect Rhythm” and features McConaughey using god-like powers to make birds take flight and cue a passing train.

“Perfect rhythm refers to the feeling you get in those situations when everything comes together,” said John Emmert, Lincoln group marketing manager. “This piece is all about energy,” he continued. “You see Matthew in control. He starts a rhythm and it builds, and he becomes the master of his experience. We’ve overlaid a complex sound design as a freight train enters the scene and rumbles by. There’s this wonderful crescendo of light and sound that builds and then ends as suddenly as it begins.”

 

Immaculately shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister, who worked on Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Inception, and Dunkirk, it definitely looks gorgeous but we’re less certain about the subject matter. At what point in anyone’s driving history have they ever been totally content to wait for a passing locomotive in the middle of a country road?

Presumably, McConaughey’s idle drumming is supposed to convey a sense of fulfillment in his chosen vehicle. Other Lincoln ads have featured him looking as if he has nowhere to be and loving every minute of it. “In the past, you’ve seen Matthew McConaughey in a coffee shop, in the rain and with friends at a high-class card game. We’ve seen him with dogs on the weekend, and we’ve seen him in the middle of nowhere,” explained Lincoln spokeswoman Amanda Park.

With the exception of the dog-focused spot, that all sounds very dull. However the commercials do evoke a sense of calm that cleverly work to promote Lincoln in a very specific way. Most of us would likely be cursing our misfortune of being the only car in miles to have to wait for a train. But, when you own a Lincoln, you can rest assured that you’ve “made it” as you bask in its comfortable opulence — at least that’s what the ads are hoping to communicate.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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66 Comments on “Lincoln Continues Relationship With McConaughey in Beautifully Perplexing Navigator Ad...”


  • avatar
    Jeremiah Mckenna

    Anyone notice that Volvo has a Mathew McConaghey wanna be clone in their new ads?

  • avatar

    I have yet to meet someone who has actually purchased a Lincoln in the last 20 years.

    • 0 avatar
      pmirp1

      That’s because you don’t live near coastal areas in the south. When I go to my vacation spot near Savannah, I see many new Lincoln Continentals driven by older gentlemen.

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      Friends ditched their older XC90 for an MKC and rave about how comfortable it is.

    • 0 avatar
      I_like_stuff

      You need to meet some new people Ricky.

    • 0 avatar
      Davekaybsc

      I bought one. Well technically it was two years old when I bought it, but somebody bought it and then I bought it after they traded it in. Compared to an A4 and 3 series – about $10K less for more equipment, much of it unavailable in those cars at any price. MUCH more comfortable to be in than the B8 A4. Everybody loves the pano-roof, and I love the Volvo style FCW system, completely unobtrusive LKAS system, and radar cruise. VERY few Audis and BMWs are ordered with that because they require multi-thousand dollar equipment packages on top of other multi-thousand dollar equipment packages, and if you’re going to spend a boat load of cash on an A4 or 3 series, might as well get an A6 or 5 series instead. The ones that people actually buy that you see as CPO are lease payment strippers that people bought chasing the badge – base seats, no NAV, etc. No thank you.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I met an MKFlex owner a couple months ago. After a show, I drove her and her MKFlex home to her acreage. Turned out she was married, with an open relationship. But he was gone for the weekend so whatever.

      The girl with an MKFusion was a more interesting experience. I met her a few years ago in a sketchy club while out of town visiting some friends and we chatted about new age things like reincarnation. She thought she had a bunch of past lives so I just told her I believed I was a new soul. It wasn’t long until she decided we needed to leave.

      Her Lincoln was quite clean and looked new so I complimented her on it and she said she had just purchased it. She seemed quite proud of it. Then she put it into gear and immediately accelerated forward through the parking lot and over some completely above ground residual train tracks at the end of the lot.

      I don’t imagine the wheels were still round after that but the tires remained inflated so I guess it couldn’t have been as bad as it felt. It was dark enough that I figured it could have been an honest mistake until we got on the road. I suggested that she pull over so I could drive but she was having none of that. I settled for calmly taking control of the wheel a few times to prevent her from crashing into median lightposts. This was my first experience with a truly hazardous impaired driver. But she was determined and hot and the roads were empty enough and the speeds low enough that I simply made plans to wipe the steering wheel and run away if she crashed into anything.

      We got home to my buddy’s place and she contacted her friend to come over while I made drinks. She then went out for a smoke but instead got in her car and sped away. My buddies got back shortly after and we had a drink and laughed about the incident for awhile until we heard the doorbell. It was her friend! Her friend seemed nice so we invited her to come in and join us for a drink while she attempted to contact the crazy one. The friend was far more rational and clear-headed. She stayed and talked for a drink or two but failed to get any response from the crazy one before giving up and going home.

      In hindsight, and with the benefit of a few more strange encounters, the first one was probably on more than just alcohol.

      See, there are plenty of interesting Lincoln owners out there. You just have to get out and meet them, Ricky!

      To balance things out, I’ll add that my uncle also has an MKFlex and he is a very respectable retired school principal.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Great commercial

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’d say the Navigator is officially Real Bad News for Cadillac. They’re going to sell a TON of these.

    • 0 avatar
      mojeimeje

      Until the all new Escalade comes out later next year.

    • 0 avatar
      NN

      I agree. Big boost to Ford’s bottom line, and gonna hurt GM.

      They need to start filling ships full of these and sending them to China, also. Even run the exact same commercial. They’ll eat it up.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “I agree. Big boost to Ford’s bottom line, and gonna hurt GM.”

        Hardly…….LOL

        GM owns this market (always has) & won’t hardly feel sales of the new Lincoln Navigator. Liken it to ramming a diesel locomotive with a Toyota Echo. Don’t make the mistake of assuming every new Navigator sale will be a conquest sale over a GMC Denali or Cadillac Escalade. Because most won’t.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Ford would love to do that, it’s cheaper than purpose-building a Lincoln plant in China, but Chinese import taxes are designed to make imports expensive, encourage foreign investment, and accumulate foreign exchange reserves. Ford is getting approval for a Changan-Ford joint venture that will build Lincoln SUVs in China by 2019.

  • avatar

    Well he could’ve used that ECOBoost engine in there to drive right through the crossing, as he was stopped well before the gates came down. It’s his own fault he had to wait for the train.

    Also, a single person driving about in an unloaded luxury seven-passenger SUV is just_so_America.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      He HAD to stop – it was in the script!

    • 0 avatar
      King of Eldorado

      I wondered about that too. Who stops at a crossing before the gate comes down? But then I decided that was the point: he knew a train was coming and wanted to wait for it so he could do the tappy-boogie-woogie rhythm thing on the steering wheel with the train clickety-clack as background. We’re not all as in tune with the universe as the Matthew, nor do we have as much time on our hands.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    Is he still rolling boogers like he did in a previous ad?

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    The last cool person to drive a Lincoln was Frank Cannon. 1972 Mark IV, 460ci V8 with a 4-barrel carb. Oh, and a phone. And probably some empty takeout containers.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Cannon was super cool. Thanks for that reminder!

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Frank Cannon couldn’t fit into anything smaller. He was 5′-8″ and rather rotund. The tilt wheel was limited to luxury cars back then, and it allowed him to get his gut under the wheel without moving the seat back and being unable to reach the pedals. John Wayne drove full size GM cars with large footwells due to his size and girth. That’s why Americans of size and girth gravitated to pickups and large SUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        Cannon was a smooth, dangerous, fat man. You’re right, they were limited as to what his signature ride could be. The show wouldn’t have been the same had he tooled around in a K5 Blazer.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      What did that 460 have in ’72? About 160 HP?

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        I believe the 460 was rated at 223hp but they used net horsepower back then, I’m not sure how that compares to bhp. Either way the car weighed 4,700 lbs., 5,100 lbs. if Cannon was in it, so it wasn’t winning any drag races.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          From what I understand the difference between bhp and net is minimal, around 2%. It’s the old gross hp ratings that are misleading.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          Believe it or not, the Mark IV was even heavier. Curb weight for ’72 was listed at 4993 lbs.

          Acceleration was supposedly 0-60 @ 10.8 sec. The 1971 model with the same engine was 365 HP, and took 8.2 sec from 0-60. It wasn’t just the conversion to net, they really throttled back the power and performance from ’71 to ’72.

          OTOH, 10.8 was rather quick for 1972.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            1973 was when things got even worse with the introduction of EGR, the goal of which was to snuff out the high combustion temps that created excessive NOx emissions, but also the easy power everyone had been used to up to that point. Looking at HP ratings from 1973 on is truly depressing.

  • avatar
    Hoon Goon

    Doing the drum -n- bass on the steering wheel to remind us when he was young and that thing with the naked bongo playin’ when he was on weed and shroons and other things.

  • avatar
    SlowMyke

    I personally have no problem with the Lincoln commercials, they’re certainly more interesting to look at than the paint-by-numbers commercials the others put out. Or the Lexus commercial where they seem to highlight their cars’ ability to cut off other cars without using a blinker. I suppose that last one probably is the most fitting for luxury marques tough. (Link to said Lexus commercial https://youtu.be/cTumHNXdGxw )

    But why is Matt already stopped before the gates go down?

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      Hmm, yes … If a police officer happens upon you stopped at an empty railroad crossing, drumming on your steering wheel and playing with the power windows, chances are that you will get a free ride to the local “drunk tank” and you will have a nice fat vehicle impound bill to deal with after your court date.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    Matthew is stopped at the RR tracks because, as a new-age Lincoln owner, he is now One With the World.
    Great commercial! And when I travel I purposefully wait for any train to roll by first.
    Santa Fe in the Cajon Pass (1990), Burlington Northern in the Twin Cities(1986), Milwaukee Road (1975 on board the SDL39 locomotive #586!).

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Mr. Valium does another ad. Better than any of his previous ones though.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This ad won’t help sell one more Lincoln.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    I really like these commercials. Chance that I will buy a Lincoln as a result of viewing one is about the same as a meteor hitting me while I’m driving.

  • avatar
    jeoff

    Great ad.

  • avatar
    dont.fit.in.cars

    You all forgetting the “all right all right all right” panty drop effect. The wife goos everytime he’s on the screen.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Lincoln is for those with one foot in the grave.

    They should come standard with those cheesy medalert necklaces for those who’ve fallen and can’t get up.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Bolshoi. Kids today don’t even know what a Lincoln is. That’s what the ads are for, to give Lincoln a new image to people who, unlike you, don’t remember the bad old days of big, wallowing road hogs driven by octogenarians. In fact, a lot of those kids wouldn’t even get your reference to “I’ve fallen and can’t get up!”

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      So which one did you get Deadweight?

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    I think the new Continental is sexy as hell.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    He looked better sitting behind the wheel of that bada$$ Chevy Chevelle in Dazed & Confused. I do like the Lincoln commercials he does. Wonder if he actually has one of their vehicles parked in his garage.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Ecoboost power.

    youtube.com/watch?v=wrwbG8aeCYw

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Further evidence that Ford has no interest in making Lincoln a viable near luxury brand.

    Why do I want to buy a Lincoln after this ad? Because it can stop at a train crossing? Not very compelling.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      What does any ad do for a purchase this large other than make you aware the product exists (except for those original Infinity ads). If you buy a car solely based on the ads you are a moron. Let me guess though, you got a Silverado because you saw a toolbox puncture a Ford Bed in front of some real people…not actors. Enjoy your Shevolay.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Let’s correct a few things shall we?

        First, I don’t own a Silverado.

        Secondly, who said anything about buying a vehicle solely based on ads?

        Third, what do you think the point of ads are?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      First, you make it a viable brand. That means products to sell that make money. Then you go for luxury. The beginning of that is the Continental. A performance Mark X coupe should be the next step.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “Further evidence that Ford has no interest in making Lincoln a viable near luxury brand.

    Why do I want to buy a Lincoln after this ad? Because it can stop at a train crossing? Not very compelling.”

    I assume you make that statement based on your education & abundant work experience in marketing high-end vehicles like the Navigator in the automotive market………LOL.

    GM prints money with the LTZ ‘Hoe & Burb, GMC Denali Yukons & Cadillac Escalades. Ford isn’t stupid & would like to do the same. Common sense, if you got it, tells you Ford would absolutely would like to make Lincoln a viable brand with offerings like the Navigator. Duh!

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “tells you Ford would absolutely would like to make Lincoln a viable brand with offerings like the Navigator.”

      Then when is Ford going to show an ounce of interest in attempting to make Lincoln something that doesn’t rival Buick?

      You say Ford wants something to match the GM full size SUVs but nothing they have done points to them being serious about it. Same for Lincoln. Nothing Ford has done points to them wanting to do anything with Lincoln. The ONE thing Big Al was right about was shutting Lincoln down.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    Matt, there’s a Mazda ad where the driver stops at a train crossing before the train arrives so that he can just sit in his Mazda longer. I’m not sure who came up with that idea first but the former zoom zoom company is definitely promoting the luxury aspects of it’s interiors.

  • avatar
    Chi-One

    The wife just leased an ’18 MKC Reserve two weeks ago after having a Grand Cherokee for three years. Beautiful car. Exterior styling is nice soft curves, not those boomerang shaped lines like the Japanese offerings. It has everything but the tech package. The infotainment/tech is state of the art. Once she set up carplay, she controls everything by voice. For service they pick up the car, leave a Lincoln loaner and return the car when done. Longer warranty than GM or FCA. The ride is quiet and very comfortable in any of the three drive modes. I’m very impressed, obviously.

  • avatar
    brn

    I like Matthew. I like Lincoln. I even like some of the Lincoln commercials (as much as I like any commercials).

    This commercial, I don’t like. That’s a bad color for the Navigator. The whole “lets create terrible music by hitting stuff around us” thing has always turned me off. It’s cheesy.

    Does it make us aware of the vehicle? Yes, we’re talking about it. I guess that makes it a successful commercial.


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