Lincoln's 'Fresh Take' Campaign Traps Matthew McConaughey Inside Pink Mist

lincolns 8216 fresh take campaign traps matthew mcconaughey inside pink mist

Ads for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator are scheduled to drop this Saturday, but those of us with internet access got to see them a day early. Lincoln’s “Fresh Take” campaign is a bit of a misnomer, however, because the person who’s chiming in on the new model is Matthew McConaughey.

Ford has used the Oscar-winning actor to showcase its premium products for years now, and this writer is not ashamed to say that he’s grown to love them. While not particularly substantive, they’re difficult to look away from. McConaughey muses about the vehicle in a calm, dreamlike haze. Occasionally looking into the rearview mirror before casually reapplying his attention to the always clear road ahead, he’s presumably talking to himself — but it’s really for our benefit.

And that’s why I’m so fond of them. In my mind, McConaughey is a polished lunatic — not quite a Patrick Bateman, but definitely unhinged. And it translates into comedy gold. Yet another viewer might see the ad and think, “Boy he’s handsome and calm — it’s like nothing is ever going to go wrong inside that car.”

It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to learn that the people creating these ads are totally aware of this dual nature and happily lean into it when manufacturing content. Remember the spot for the 2018 Lincoln Navigator? The dude literally stopped at an open railroad crossing and willed a freight train into existence. That’s some David Lynch-level stuff.

And while it’s probably insane to try and find a narrative in these ads, I have a loose theory that McConaughey’s character is that of a Lincoln salesman trapped inside his own dream. The more realistic scenario is that Ford just pays him a lot of money to act cool in the tranquil reality that has been built up around him and Lincoln’s various products. Either way, it’s still working.

The latest ad sees McConaughey silently piloting the Aviator through pink clouds produced by other manufacturers’ raucous sedans drifting around him. He’s not concerned as the voices inside his head passively acknowledges their existence, calling them “an amped-up, over-tuned feeding frenzy of sheet metal.”

He then pulls away to leave them behind, finding himself on a traffic-free highway. “Then there’s performance that just leaves you feeling better as a result,” he continues. “That’s the kind Lincoln’s about.”

Johan Renck, best known for directing music videos and a handful of episodes of Breaking Bad, helmed the filming. Production duties went to the NYC-based ad firm Hudson Rouge, while the music was performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

“We created an upfront scene that isn’t quite real,” said Jon Pearce, chief creative officer of Hudson Rouge, the company that produced the spot. “It’s picturesque, based in reality, but it represents this fray – a feeding frenzy of other brands’ obsessive focus on just performance.”

The campaign has already started making the rounds online and will make its first TV broadcast debut during the Notre Dame vs. New Mexico football game at 2:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC.

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  • Conundrum Conundrum on Sep 16, 2019

    Considering these vehicles are being reworked in their thousands at Flat Rock after being incorrectly and incompletely assembled in Chicago, I think the Pink Mist is Professor Moonbeam's breath after what we were told about Aviators and Explorers this past. Friday. Moonbeam just can't hack it.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Sep 18, 2019

    For people of a certain experience set, pink mist suggests a suicide bombing outside. Maybe not the best idea. No matter how calmly Matthew McConaughey drives through the scene, musing aloud and rolling a booger between his fingers.

  • MaintenanceCosts The sweet spot of this generation isn't made anymore: the SRT 392. The Scat Pack is more or less filling the same space but it lacks a lot of the goodies, including SRT suspension, brakes, and seats. The Hellcat is too much and isn't available with a manual anymore.
  • Arthur Dailey I am normally a fan of Exner's designs but by this time the front end on the Stutz like most of the rest of the vehicle is a laughable monstrosity of gauche. The interior finishes suit the rest of the vehicle. Corey please put this series out of its misery. This is one vehicle manufacturer best left on the scrap heap of history.
  • Art Vandelay I always thought what my Challenger really needed was a convertible top to make it heavier and make visability worse.
  • Dlc65688410 Please stop, we can't take anymore of this. Think about doing something on the Spanish Pegaso.
  • MaintenanceCosts A few bits of context largely missing from this article:(1) For complicated historical reasons, the feds already end up paying much of the cost of buying new transit buses of all types. It is easier legally and politically to put capital funds than operating funds into the federal budget, so the model that has developed in most US agencies is that operational costs are raised from a combination of local taxes and fares while the feds pick up much of the agencies' capital needs. So this is not really new spending but a new direction for spending that's been going on for a long time.(2) Current electric buses are range-challenged. Depending on type of service they can realistically do 100-150 miles on a charge. That's just fine for commuter service where the buses typically do one or two trips in the morning, park through the midday, and do one or two trips in the evening. It doesn't work well for all-day service. Instead of having one bus that can stay out from early in the morning until late at night (with a driver change or two) you need to bring the bus back to the garage once or twice during the day. That means you need quite a few more buses and also increases operating costs. Many agencies are saying for political reasons that they are going to go electric in this replacement cycle but the more realistic outcome is that half the buses can go electric while the other half need one more replacement cycle for battery density to improve. Once the buses can go 300 miles in all weather they will be fine for the vast majority of service.(3) With all that said, the transition to electric will be very good. Moving from straight diesel to hybrid already cut down substantially on emissions, but even reduced diesel emissions cause real public health damage in city settings. Transitioning both these buses and much of the urban truck fleet to electric will have measurable and meaningful impacts on public health.