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Lincoln Ad Spoofs Elevate Brand's Exposure

Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln MKC spots inspired parodies by Conan O'Brien and Ellen DeGeneres.
Automotive News

October 12, 2014 - 12:01 am ET -- UPDATED: 10/13/14 10:31 am ET - adds updated hit counts

Did Lincoln's ads just do the unthinkable: help the stodgy luxury brand break through to a hipper audience?

Call it a happy accident, but Lincoln marketing officials say they're cheering about the response to a pair of ads for the MKC crossover featuring Matthew McConaughey. That response includes two spoofs, by Conan O'Brien and Ellen DeGeneres, that lit up the Internet and social networks last month.

When Jon Pearce got word of the DeGeneres satire early Sept. 22, he and 39 of his colleagues immediately gathered around a laptop to watch it and laughed. They viewed it again later that afternoon when it aired on DeGeneres' talk show.

Pearce, global CCO of Hudson Rouge, the Lincoln ad team that developed the McConaughey spots, said the parody was a welcome bonus. "We're flattered," he said. "Just to get out into the public mind with parodies says you've achieved a certain amount of notoriety."

The ads themselves evoke McConaughey's character on the HBO miniseries "True Detective," in which he plays Rust Cohle, a detective given to cryptic monologues. Lincoln lined up McConaughey -- a romantic-comedy regular and this year's Oscar winner for best actor -- in an effort to appeal to younger, more hip buyers, particularly women. It's part of a two-year partnership with the actor, who also starred in the 2011 thriller The Lincoln Lawyer.

The first ad with McConaughey behind the wheel of the MKC aired Sept. 6, during college football broadcasts, and the spoofs came soon after, spreading through social networks such as YouTube and Facebook. O'Brien's version, which aired Sept. 11, layered in bizarre dialogue from the HBO show.

As of Friday, the DeGeneres video had generated 3.9 million views on YouTube, while O'Brien's had 234,251. The two original McConaughey ads had 1.3 million views combined.

"It's hard to put a dollar amount on earned media," said Pearce, referring to videos and other promotional assets that are shared among friends and therefore prized by advertisers. "We couldn't ask for better," he said.

Moreover, the combination of ads and parodies appears to be helping consideration of the Lincoln brand, said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst for Edmunds.com. Lincoln brand consideration on Edmunds.com for the week ended Sept. 21 was 1.6 percent, up from 1.2 percent the previous week, representing a roughly 31 percent lift in consideration.

Ellen DeGeneres and Conan O'Brien spoof Lincoln's MKC ad


 

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I love Ellen. If anyone were to make fun of the ads, I'm glad it was Ellen!
 

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Do I get this right? The bull's name is "Cyrus"?

If so, I just want to point out that I'm NOT a bull!:joyous:
 

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Maybe Ellen will turn this into a give-a-way promo and hands everyone who posts to this thread the keys to a new MKC.. LOL
 

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I thought the ads were horrible, pretty much like every other Lincoln ad of late. I thought the parodies were funny, and yet it is somewhat sad that Lincoln is having greater success with people making fun of their ads than with the ads themselves. The MKZ and MKC are both attractive well appointed vehicles, I wish somebody could come up with a classy way to present them with out the ridiculous humor of those comparison ads a while back or the recent ads with Machoweveryouspellhisname.

They're good vehicles and shouldn't need these silly gimmicks to sell.
 

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The Lincoln ads are much better than what Cadillac is showing these days. Have you seen the latest group of new ads from Cadillac. They are singing over and over again "....Got to get a new CaAadilaaaac...' Talk about begging. AND the one with the geeky guy dressed all wrong who thinks he's the cat's meow because he thinks everyone is looking at him but in reality they are "looking" at the ATS coupe. The one this past summer was no bargin from Cadillac. The one with the robots and the '80's sounding music. I was expecting to see a Cimarron and Coupe DeVille roll down the runway. This is why Cadillac sales are going down.

I think Lincoln is doing a better job.
 

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The Lincoln ads are much better than what Cadillac is showing these days. Have you seen the latest group of new ads from Cadillac. They are singing over and over again "....Got to get a new CaAadilaaaac...' Talk about begging. AND the one with the geeky guy dressed all wrong who thinks he's the cat's meow because he thinks everyone is looking at him but in reality they are "looking" at the ATS coupe. The one this past summer was no bargin from Cadillac. The one with the robots and the '80's sounding music. I was expecting to see a Cimarron and Coupe DeVille roll down the runway. This is why Cadillac sales are going down.

I think Lincoln is doing a better job.
Lincoln may in fact be doing well. I just never get a warm and fuzzy feeling from any of them, but then nobody on the planet would hire me to develop an advertising plan for anything larger than a lemonade stand, and they would likely fire me immediately after hiring me!
 

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This ad campaign resonates with people in a way traditional car ads don't. This is how you leverage celebrity effectively. People may think it's pretentious, awkward, or irrelevant...but it's effective.

The goal however now would be to preserve the tone of this ad campaign going forward, they need to bring him back and somehow I doubt that will happen.
 

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This ad campaign resonates with people in a way traditional car ads don't. This is how you leverage celebrity effectively. People may think it's pretentious, awkward, or irrelevant...but it's effective.

The goal however now would be to preserve the tone of this ad campaign going forward, they need to bring him back and somehow I doubt that will happen.
There are several more ads with this actor planed over the next year or more. I want to see him in the 2015 Navigator.
 

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Lincoln's ad parody in South Park??? WOW That is really important! Seriously, if South Park talk about something is because that is relevant...
No need to be sarcastic... I never said anything about relevancy and how important it is... The point of this ENTIRE thread was to talk about Lincoln ad spoofs elevating its exposure. Another tv show spoofing the ad adds to its exposure does it not?



Sidenote: South Park is in its 18th season and is bringing in 2.5+ million viewers a episode.
 

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No need to be sarcastic... I never said anything about relevancy and how important it is... The point of this ENTIRE thread was to talk about Lincoln ad spoofs elevating its exposure. Another tv show spoofing the ad adds to its exposure does it not?



Sidenote: South Park is in its 18th season and is bringing in 2.5+ million viewers a episode.

I'm not sarcastic!!! I'm talking very seriously!!!! I'm South Park's fan, and i know that this program is extremely inteligent and they deals with the most current and important things. If South Park is talking about Lincoln's ad, is because something big is happen with this....

Really...
 

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I'm not sarcastic!!! I'm talking very seriously!!!! I'm South Park's fan, and i know that this program is extremely inteligent and they deals with the most current and important things. If South Park is talking about Lincoln's ad, is because something big is happen with this....

Really...
Big does not always equal good.
 

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I'm surprised no one's mentioned the 3 Lincoln MKC commercial spoofs Jim Carrey did on Saturday Night Live. Here they are:

I saw these yesterday absolutely hilarious, I loved the one with the kids in the back seat.
 
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