The Lincoln Conspiracy Theory

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The Lincoln Conspiracy Theory

Have any of you seen the latest Matthew McConaughey Lincoln car commercials?
We were not sure if we were the only ones to find these commercials to be very odd, until we did a search on the Internet. In one of the three commercials in the series, he tells us to “look back before moving forward,” and his voice (creepily) narrates in the background as he cruises in his Lincoln MKC and rubs his fingers together for some reason. Strange indeed! While the commercial is designed to promote Lincoln SUV vehicles, the viewer actually associates it more with Mathew McConaughey. The vehicle features are only shown briefly, and the name of the actual car and Lincoln’s logo is only seen once when the camera glares by it in one of the shots.

Our marketing team watched it and had no clue that the commercial was an introduction of the first-ever Lincoln MKC. (We only know this because the company’s official YouTube channel tells us.) We really wondered what the marketing agency was thinking here – was the creepiness of the muttering, finger-rubbing McConaughey intentional?? Or was this accidental??

Regardless of intention, it’s gone viral. In addition to a buzz amongst viewers and lots of shares of the actual commercials, there have been a lot of references and spoofs done in many places in the industry – garnering an amazing amount of attention for the commercial and for the vehicle. For example, if you caught the Ellen Degeneres version of the commercial (click above) – it’s hilarious – reaching millions more viewers for “free”. (She sits in the back seat of Matthew’s car eating “funny” brownies, making funny comments.) Or did you catch the Saturday Night Live skit in which Jim Carrey makes fun of the commercial? Even South Park had an episode where the finger-rubbing McConaughey made an appearance in his Lincoln. Free exposure galore!

So, here goes our conspiracy theory:
We believe the oddness was absolutely INTENTIONAL. Look at all the attention, recognition and airtime that the video and “brand” are getting as a result of the bizarre ads. As a matter of fact, have they paid some of these shows for product placement in the shows?? Or have the spoofs been prompted purely of the shows’ writers’ imagination and sense of humor. If it was intentional we say “kudos” to their advertising agency. The attention, as witnessed by this blog article, has been phenomenal. But it poses a question: is the attention that Lincoln is receiving creating a positive correlation for their brand or more importantly, their car sales? We have all heard that any attention is good attention, but is this the case here? Some are arguing that poking fun at a brand can have a negative overall effect on the brand and many critics are questioning Lincoln’s decision-making. It will certainly be interesting to see how this progresses. We predict that the brand value will not carry over into the far future. Most people will just remember that Matthew McConaughey did some creepy ad campaign for ‘some’ car.

What do you think? Intentional or unintentional oddities? We want to hear your thoughts.

By |2014-11-03T19:48:33-04:00November 3rd, 2014|Guerilla Marketing Monday, Strategy|0 Comments

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