Lincoln is dead; long live the Lincoln Motor Company. As part of an initiative to rebrand itself, Lincoln has adopted a more evocative name, teed up a series of commercials rich with visual imagery (including that of Abraham Lincoln) and has announced its first ever Super Bowl ad campaign.
Before the big game, Lincoln is hoping its new videos (seen below) can drum up interest in its latest offering, the style-conscious MKZ sedan. The spots focus heavily on classic Lincoln designs of the past, and their message is clear: to move forward, the luxury automaker is looking to its past, when style was king.
There’s more to the brand’s strategy, though. As Ford CEO Alan Mulally explains, “The new Lincoln brand will be defined by great new luxury vehicles, such as the new MKZ, that feature quality, unique style with substance and innovative technology. These elements, coupled with a new level of warm, personal and surprising experiences, will enable Lincoln to appeal to today’s new luxury customer.”
Before customers can be impressed by either vehicles or customer service, first they must be drawn into Lincoln dealerships. That’s the job of comedian Jimmy Fallon, who will star in Lincoln’s first Super Bowl ad.
Rather than using an agency to draft a concept and write a script, Lincoln will rely on social media for its spot. It’s taking the unusual direction of allowing consumers to Tweet their thoughts on the brand, which Fallon will then condense and use to create the ad spot.
Three-time Super Bowl champion Emmitt Smith, who’s signed on as a brand ambassador, is likely to be featured in the campaign as well. In Smith’s words, “Enlisting the help of consumers to develop the spot is extremely clever. Throughout my career, I’ve been driven by the support of the fans and now they’ll have the chance to do the same for Lincoln.”
Assuming, that is, that Lincoln has enough Twitter-using fans to create the kind of call to action that the reemerging luxury brand needs. In the aftermath of Super Bowl XLVII, the concept will either be seen as the bold move Lincoln needed to make, or as just another expensive effort to build interest in the marque.