He’s been the target of parodies from the likes of Jim Carrey and Ellen DeGeneres, but the folks at Lincoln apparently like what they’ve seen from actor Matthew McConaughey because they’re bringing him back for a sequel.
The Academy Award-winning actor will start pitching the upscale maker’s MKZ model later this week, part of Lincoln’s effort to regain some momentum after years as a second-tier player in the otherwise booming U.S. luxury market.
The first round of ads, which focused on the new Lincoln MKC, might have generated a fair share of parody, but they also drew people into the maker’s showrooms, said the maker’s marketing manager Andrew Frick.
“The overwhelming response to the MKC campaign sparked truly great awareness for Lincoln,” said Frick. “Matthew’s natural storytelling ability perfectly complements the Lincoln story as we continue to raise awareness and drive conversation in creative and unexpected ways.”
It’s relatively rare for A-list celebrities to pitch products in the U.S. – though some, including George Clooney and Brad Pitt – will do so overseas, where it’s generally considered less likely to harm their image. So, McConaughey, who won an Oscar for his role in the film Dallas Buyers Club, generated plenty of buzz simply for signing on with Lincoln.
The first time around, McConaughey attempted to strike a note of sincerity, noting he drove Lincolns before that was “cool.”
His distinctive mannerisms, and notably the way he attempted to talk directly to consumers, led to a range of take-offs, notably one featuring comedian Jim Carrey on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
Whether the new line of spots will strike the same tone remains to be seen, but in the pitch for the hybrid version of the MKZ sedan, McConaughey tells viewers that it is “not about hugging trees.” A second spot, titled “Diner,” was filmed in a neighborhood restaurant to focus on the interior design and high-tech features of the standard MKZ model.
(Lincoln sounding off with new Revel audio system. For more, Click Here.)
The new spots will begin airing on New Year’s Day, and should have a “high profile,” Lincoln noted in a statement, during the day’s well-watched college football bowl games.
(Click Here for details on Lincoln’s new Black Label brand.)
There were two new spots produced by director Nicholas Winding Refn, through ad agency Hudson Rouge. The ads will air in the U.S. and Canada. There was no mention of whether translated versions also will be used in China where Lincoln was launched just a few months ago.
(To see more about Ford’s $5 billion infusion into Lincoln, Click Here.)
Back home, Lincoln sales rose 15% for the first 11 months of 2014 – almost double the pace of the overall American luxury car segment – with the new MKC model providing much of the momentum. Despite the jabs the McConaughey spots have taken, brand chief Matt VanDyke recently told TheDetroitBureau.com that the actor’s enthusiastic presence appears to have helped push the new crossover through the clutter of automotive advertising.
“If I can be authentic, and the spots are authentic, then we are sending the same message,” McConaughey said. “And I think we’re doing that in this series of Lincoln ads.”