Looks like Lincoln spokesman Matthew McConaughey has some famous company when it comes to promoting Ford’s luxury brand: Acclaimed photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Leibovitz who’s known for her iconic celebrity and fashion photographs for magazines like Vanity Fair, is now entering the automotive arena to kick off the ad campaign for the 2017 Lincoln Continental.
The new ads come with the tagline “That’s Continental” and are based around a road trip theme with cinematic-style photos. The shots are inspired by childhood road trips that Leibovitz took with her father.
“She said that’s how she first developed her photographic eye — by looking out the back window at the horizontal framing of the landscapes of America,” John Emmert, Lincoln’s group marketing manager, said in a statement. “And in this story, the Continental is the key character that enables a memorable journey.”
The campaign supplements the ongoing series of ads featuring McConaughey, who has already touted the MKX, MKZ, Navigator and MKC. In addition, Lincoln created a documentary providing a behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoots for the campaign.
In the Continental campaign, Leibovitz managed to get photos of non-professional models, including a film director, the director’s dog, a musician and an actor. She shot in and around New York City, in both urban and rural settings. The photo spreads began appearing in print publications and in social media last week.
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The campaign isn’t her first time photographing cars. She’s done shoots with celebrities like Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino paired with vehicles.
“Annie Leibovitz is a photographer of substance,” Lincoln chief Kumar Galhotra said in the statement. “The rich, warm emotions her photos evoke, mirror the feelings we want our clients to experience on all their journeys in the new Lincoln Continental.”
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The car itself has been completely redesigned for 2017, but the campaign attempts to leverage its history. “That’s why we’re using ‘That’s Continental,’ as our launch theme,” Emmert said. “It suggests a continental approach to life, as well. Being curious, being confident, wanting to know more.”
The campaign with McConaughey has brought a mixed bag of results. The first ad garnered a lot of attention, but not all of it positive as several parodies of it cropped up shortly after its debut.
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However, sales improved immediately. In fact, this year Lincoln’s U.S. sales gained 8.7% to 80,435 deliveries, including a 1.3% jump in September. Lincoln launched the Continental last month in the U.S. with 775 units sold.