Lincoln Continues Relationship With McConaughey in Beautifully Perplexing Navigator Ad

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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.”

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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6 of 66 comments
  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Dec 29, 2017

    "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!

    • EBFlex EBFlex on Dec 29, 2017

      "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.

  • GS 455 GS 455 on Dec 29, 2017

    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.

  • Chi-One Chi-One on Dec 29, 2017

    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.

    • EBFlex EBFlex on Dec 30, 2017

      She went from. Grand Cherokee to an overpriced Escape? That’s like going from a Gordon Ramsay restaurant to McDonalds.

  • Brn Brn on Dec 29, 2017

    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.