Tag Archives: MKZ

Lincoln's MKZ Flops out of the Gate

By Daniel Miller, The Motley Fool

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Ford is under a lot of pressure to successfully revive its luxury Lincoln brand. It has been able to fix so many other company issues that caused massive losses and can now finally spend time fixing the Lincoln brand. Unfortunately for Ford, the brand needs fixing: The Lincoln MKZ – which had a lot of pre-sale hype – has completely stumbled out of the gate. Hands down, Ford and Lincoln failed its dealers so far.

Meanwhile, General Motors is enjoying great success with its Cadillac line, with a 49% rise in sales for March. If you’re counting, that makes it six consecutive months of gains for GM‘s luxury line. Let’s take a look at how Ford is trying to fix its MKZ flop, and explain how very important this is to Ford investors.

Photo source: Ford Motor Co.

Super Bowl mulligan
The Lincoln MKZ had received more interest than any other Lincoln vehicle since the ’90s. Dealers where promised the flashy new sedan would arrive by the end of December 2012. Turns out that didn’t happen, and dealerships missed sales for Christmas, New Year’s Day, Presidents Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter. Suffice it to say that the $7.4 million spent on the Super Bowl ad was a waste – as was the spot during the Grammy’s. Part of the reason for this massive MKZ delay was due to the very successful Fusion.

Can’t halt the Fusion
Lincoln executives know they only have one shot at reinventing the Lincoln line. For that reason they are inspecting every single Lincoln MKZ to make sure quality is top notch. Unfortunately this was being done at the same Mexico plant that was producing the extremely popular Fusion, and it overwhelmed plant resources. The Fusion has been hailed by critics and consumers, winning numerous awards and setting record sales. Simply put, Ford couldn’t afford to halt the production of the Fusions because they’re selling out! 

Too little, too late
That caused lengthy delays for the MKZ, which has taken until now to get through the backlog of quality inspections. When it became obvious that the Mexico plant couldn’t handle the inspections in time, Ford had the MKZs sent to another plant in Michigan but it was too little, too late. Now Ford is offering cash to dealers based on lost sales in addition to incentives on other Lincoln models. Unfortunately communication was poor between the factory and dealers causing some consumers to cancel pre-orders. It’s not only lost sales, but a frustrating start to a customer relationship that will be important in reviving the brand.

So what?
You might be thinking “So what?”. After all, it’s only one model right? Ford has had great success with its fresh models of the Fusion and Escape even after multiple recalls. However the Lincoln MKZ is different. This was supposed to attract a new generation to a brand that

From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/13/lincolns-mkz-flops-out-of-the-gate/

Report: Lincoln prepping MKZ re-launch?

By Michael Harley

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Launching an all-new car is no easy task. Case in point is the 2013 Lincoln MKZ, introduced with the fanfare of a major nationwide marketing campaign, including expensive Super Bowl ads, just as Ford was curbing production over potential quality issues. The resulting mess was nothing short of a nightmare for any automaker – customers visiting dealerships looking for cars that hadn’t been delivered yet. Disappointed buyers walked out of Lincoln retailers without new keys in their hands, or switched to a competing brand to fill empty spaces in their driveways.

The impact was painful, as Lincoln’s sales in January and February of this year were among the lowest it has recorded in more than a quarter century. Even though March looked a bit brighter, with the supply crisis reportedly over (there are 3,000 units in transit and production is approaching 200 units per day) the automaker is reportedly studying the feasibility of giving its pivotal MKZ the launch it originally deserved.

According to TheDetroitBureau.com, putting the MKZ back on consumer’s radar could cost Ford tens of millions of dollars, but that kind of investment may be warranted if potential buyers have forgotten about the new model… or worse, if they have forgotten about Lincoln.

Lincoln prepping MKZ re-launch? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 04 Apr 2013 11:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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March 2013: Records Are Made To Be Broken Edition

By John Neff

Marriage SC Marriage is what it is

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They say records are made to be broken, and the auto industry broke more than a few last month. Sales for the month of March added up to a number of all-time best months for automakers, like Nissan (+0.39 percent to 126,623) and Subaru (+13.32 percent to 36,701). General Motors reports it had its best March in five years (+6.45 percent to 245,950), Audi (+14.4 percent 13,253) achieved its second-best sales month ever, and some individual models like the Ford Fusion (+6.0 percent to 30,284 units) and Explorer (+32.5 percent to 17,509 units) also set new sales records.

Most automakers made out on the positive side of things, and many that didn’t had excuses.

Indeed, even with one fewer selling day in March 2013 versus March 2012 (27 vs. 28), most automakers made out on the positive side of things, and many that didn’t had excuses. Lincoln, for instance, down 22.47 percent to 6,825 sales, was still hampered last month by quality concerns with its new MKZ sedan that suppressed availability. That car’s production, however, is now where it should be, so Lincoln’s numbers should look much better for April. Likewise, Kia saw sales fell 14.57 percent to 49,125, largely due to production constraints on the new Forte. Mitsubishi, meanwhile, which fell 26.17 percent to 5,286 units, is down a few discontinued models compared to last year, but word on the street is that more help is coming, including a new-for-2014 Mirage subcompact.

Also worth noting is how intense the sales battle has become in the midsize sedan segment. Long dominated by the Camry, Toyota’s family sedan was knocked off its pedestal last month by the Nissan Altima, which posted 37,763 units sold to the Camry’s 37,663. The Honda Accord was right there with 36,504 sales, and the Ford Fusion crept into the mix with its 30,284 units sold. We’ll be watching this segment as the year progresses to see if Toyota will keep its crown or lose it to the Altima, Accord, or maybe even the dark-horse Fusion.

*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 27 selling days in March 2013 and 28 selling days in March 2012, so there is a difference between the change in monthly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.

March 2013: Records Are Made To Be Broken Edition originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 02 Apr 2013 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Lincoln MKZ Inventory Levels To Soon Hit Normal

By Kurt Ernst

2013 Lincoln MKZ

2013 Lincoln MKZ

When you’re counting on a single model to sustain the life of your brand before other new products hit the pipeline, getting the launch right is absolutely essential. Supplier delays can kill momentum, and nothing can cool demand for a luxury sedan quicker than quality issues (real or perceived) with the initial batches delivered.

It’s no secret that Ford’s Lincoln brand is struggling to find an identity, if not struggling to even survive. Its Town Car was once the darling of livery fleets from coast to coast, but that’s been put out to pasture and the MKT really hasn’t caught on with car services. Its Mercury equivalent, the Grand Marquis, was the poster car of the AARP set, but Lincoln hasn’t managed to convert these buyers into MKS sedans, either.

When the MKZ was first shown in 2012, it was clear that Lincoln intended to draw in a whole new demographic with its stylish midsize sedan. Everyone, journalists included, wondered when they could get behind the wheel of one. Lincoln even blew the bank on advertising, going long with a wasted Super Bowl spot that left viewers scratching their collective heads. Perhaps it was a good thing that dealers didn’t have MKZ models to drive, since the ad was hardly a call to action to test drive an MKZ.

Last month, Ford admitted that final inspection backlogs at its plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, were partly responsible for MKZ delivery delays. In an effort to speed up delivery, Ford shipped completed MKZ sedans from Mexico to its plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, for the final quality inspection. Inventory was then trucked to dealers rather than shipped via rail, which would have taken longer but cost less. Put another way, Ford has spent a great deal of money on each MKZ, ensuring that quality is up to par and delivery to dealerships is prompt.

Last week, Automotive News (subscription required) reported that Ford has worked through the backlog of final inspections, and that inventory of MKZ sedans at Lincoln dealers should reach normal levels by month end. While that’s a good thing for customers patiently awaiting delivery, we can’t help but wonder if it’s too little, too late. Lincoln’s costly Super Bowl ad blitz is now a distant memory, and we wonder how much more the brand will need to spend to attract customers into Lincoln showrooms.

There are other new products in the Lincoln pipeline, but none are scheduled to appear in 2013. If buyers decide the MKZ isn’t right for them, what are the odds that Lincoln can up-sell them into an MKS or MKT? (Hint: we wouldn’t take those odds.)

Getting the MKZ in the hands of dealers (and ultimately, customers) is an important first step for Lincoln. As to whether or not it’s too little, too late, only time will tell.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Automotive Addicts

Report: Lincoln says MKZ supply crisis over

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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After an excessive number of recalls on the 2013 Escape and Fusion, we can’t really fault Ford for being a little extra cautious with the launch of the 2013 Lincoln MKZ. Last month, we reported that dealer supply of the car was extremely limited due to more attention being paid to quality checks of cars rolling off the assembly line, which led to a 73-percent drop in MKZ sales from last year on top of a 32-year low in monthly sales for Lincoln in January.

The reason for the delay was that the sedans were being shipped from the Hermosillo, Mexico assembly plant to be inspected even closer at Ford’s Flat Rock, Michigan plant before they were able to head to dealers. Things seem to be straightening out for Lincoln and the MKZ‘s production now, as Automotive News is reporting that supply should be up to a “normal level” by the end of this month.

Lincoln says MKZ supply crisis over originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Mar 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Official: Five vehicles named Top Safety Pick+ including new Civic, MKZ

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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In an attempt to help push vehicle safety to a higher level, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety created a stricter Top Safety Pick+ rating last year, which incorporates a brutal small overlap test and requires cars to get Good ratings in four out of the five categories (and no less than Acceptable in the fifth). Joining the list of the safest cars of 2013, the 2013 Volvo XC60, Lincoln MKZ, Honda Civic (sedan and coupe) and the 2014 Mazda6 have all received the coveted TSP+ rating.

The Mazda6 and Lincoln MKZ have both been completely redesigned, and both received Acceptable ratings in the small overlap test. The Honda Civic, coming off its emergency refresh for 2013, is the first small car to be subjected to the small overlap test, and IIHS says that one of the car’s many upgrades includes a stiffer front structure allowing it to receive Good ratings in all categories. Similarly, the XC60 gets all Good ratings thanks to, according to IIHS, Volvo updating the airbag software allowing the side airbags to inflate during the small overlap test.

The 2014 Subaru Forester has not yet been subjected to the small overlap test, so it must make do with just a Top Safety Pick rating until the IIHS tests small utility vehicles, which is expected to happen later in the spring.

Continue reading Five vehicles named Top Safety Pick+ including new Civic, MKZ

Five vehicles named Top Safety Pick+ including new Civic, MKZ originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Mar 2013 17:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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February 2013: No Leap Day Edition

By John Neff

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Last year was a Leap Year, and February 2012 indeed offered automakers an extra day of selling cars compared to the 24 trips around the sun we took last month. Nevertheless, the US auto industry took full advantage of the days they were given and posted a solid month of sales in February 2013.

Among major automakers, Honda America (+12.79 percent), Ford Motor Company (+9.33 percent) and General Motors (+7.17 percent) were the leaders, while Toyota Motor Company (+4.34) and Chrysler Group (+4.11 thanks to a +30.33-percent performance by Dodge) managed to stay positive. Nissan North America, however, fared less well, reporting a drop in year-over-year sales of -6.65 percent.

Among brands, we see many luxury marques near the top, including Bentley (+42.86 percent), Porsche (+30.53 percent), Audi (+27.77 percent), Mercedes-Benz (+23.05 percent), Cadillac (+20.34 percent) and Land Rover (+19.97 percent). If taken as a sign of a recovering economy, then the wealthier among us appear to be leading the way.

You might not be surprised to see Lincoln at the very bottom of the sales pile.

Perhaps more notable are the brands that didn’t do so well in February. Kia (-7.84 percent) has rarely been seen in the red, and even trumpeted a new sales record for January last month. The rare dip is unusual for the Korean automaker, having increased sales four years in a row and experiencing only one month of declining sales last year in December. Likewise, Jeep (-16.48 percent) and Nissan (-7.18 percent) manage to avoid the crimson club most months, but not last month.

You might not be surprised to see Lincoln at the very bottom of the sales performance pile, having reported a large decline of -29.35 percent. Don’t blame the new MKZ just yet, as production has still not yet ramped up to the levels of its predecessor. Lincoln sold 945 new MKZs in February, down 62.0 percent from the year prior, but up 47.9 percent month-over-month.

*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 24 selling days in February 2013 and 25 selling days in February 2012, so there is a difference between the change in monthly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.

February 2013: No Leap Day Edition originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Mar 2013 17:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Report: Lincoln dealers frustrated over slow MKZ production ramp-up

By Chris Paukert

2013 Lincoln MKZ in deep red - front three-quarter view

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Lincoln has clearly been working hard to get the word out about its 2013 MKZ sedan. The Dearborn automaker has taken out lavish spreads to trumpet its boldly styled new model in magazines of every description, along with placing commercials for both the vehicle and the reborn brand behind it on all manner of television programs, including the super-costly Super Bowl earlier this month.

Pity, then, that Lincoln dealers don’t have enough MKZs to sell. According to The Detroit News, parent company Ford has spent a good portion of its time at this week’s National Automobile Dealers Association meeting in Florida attempting to pacify upset dealers who don’t have enough examples of the pivotal new vehicle in stock.

As the DetNews notes, Lincoln only sold 453 MKZs last month, a whopping 73-percent decrease over the same period last year when the sedan’s predecessor was on sale. In fact, the stunted supply had enough impact that Lincoln’s January figures worked out to a 32-year low for the brand, just as it’s trying to get back on its feet. This, despite the fact that the MKZ is said to have the biggest number of pre-orders in the marque’s history.

According to Bloomberg reports earlier this month, the slow distribution issue is because workers are taking pains to conduct quality checks on vehicles as they roll off the line at its Hermosillo, Mexico assembly plant. In fact, the company is shipping some of the vehicles to a factory in Flat Rock, Michigan for closer inspection. According to industry analysts, Ford is likely looking to avoid the quality and resultant recall issues that have dogged recent launches including its Escape crossover and Fusion sedan, a model with which the MKZ shares a great deal under the skin.

Ford expects dealers to have adequate supplies of the midsize luxury car by early April, at which point we hope the company’s marketing coffers will still be full enough to take advantage of having cars in showrooms.

Lincoln dealers frustrated over slow MKZ production ramp-up originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Feb 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Study: Ad Analysis: Which Super Bowl commercials won and lost last night? [w/video]

By Seyth Miersma

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From kickoff through the blackout and on to the Baltimore Ravens walking away victorious at Super Bowl XLVII, advertising analysts were tracking the impact of all those very expensive commercials. Automakers and their agencies were no exception here, which means there’s been plenty of data logged in terms of which car spots actually succeeded or flopped.

Of course, as next-day results can’t exactly be measured by counting up how many folks ran out and bought a new car, judging audience reaction can be a tricky business. As evidence, we’ve read through (and watched) some early analysis pieces from various sources, and none of them can agree on which commercial was the most powerful of the night. Not even close, in fact.

We’ve read through the early analysis from various sources, and none of them can agree on which commercial was the most powerful of the night. Not even close.

“Lift” is a common marketing term and basis for measuring the success of a particular piece of advertising; the term refers roughly to the improvement in audience response to a product after viewing the advertisement. Using data from Edmunds about the lift generated by auto commercials during the big game, The Truth About Cars reported that Mercedes-Benz was the night’s big winner. TTAC maintained that the CLA Soul advertisement generated a whopping 3,067% of lift when it aired in the fourth quarter. The report also indicated that Volkswagen’s Get Happy ad and Lincoln’s Phoenix spot for the new MKZ were among the poorest performers on the night.

In an entirely separate study, car-number crunchers Autometrics had some dramatically different results (see the press release, below). In its report, Autometrics found the Lincoln MKZ spot to be the most successful of the evening, with an event-leading 42% “Share of Lift” and a massive 5,800% increase in “prospects.”

Moving into anecdotal review of the commercials, we see some evidence that the tenderhearted ads from Ram and Jeep were winners on the evening. USA Today interviewed former General Motors and Hyundai marketing chief Joel Ewanick, who personally found Ram’s Farmer commercial to be the most compelling. Ewanick reportedly considered Jeep’s Whole Again tribute to American servicemen and servicewomen to be the “second-best” spot. Of course, if you ask media expert Frank Luntz of CBS to talk about his reaction data, he’ll tell you that Farmer was one of the least successful ads of the game, while Kia’s Space Babies commercial was the toast of the Super Bowl as far as car makers go. Oh, and Luntz also claims that the CLA spot that the Edmunds data loved was “not distinguishable.” Go figure. Scroll down to watch the CBS breakdown video, below.

Who’s ready for that test drive now?

Continue reading Ad Analysis: Which Super Bowl commercials won and lost last night? [w/video]

Ad Analysis: Which Super Bowl commercials won and lost last night? [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Feb 2013 19:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Super Bowl XLVII Car Commercials: The Best, the Worst, and the “Meh” [The Ad Section]

By Don Klein

Super Bowl XLVII Audi Prom Commercial

A good commercial is one that breaks through the clutter, registers a convincing sales message and sears itself into your memory. I call it the Rule of IMP, for Intrusive, Memorable, and Persuasive. But for Super Bowl commercials there’s an additional rule: They’ve got to be entertaining as well. So which ones have us buzzing around the virtual water cooler today? Here’s our take, with each slotted alphabetically into three categories—Best, Worst, and Meh. Award-winning ad man-cum-auto journalist Don Klein knows a good (or bad) car commercial when he sees one; the Ad Section is his space to tell you what he thinks of the latest spots. But everyone has an opinion when it comes to advertising—especially during the Super Bowl—so hit Backfires below and tell us what you think, too.

The Best

Audi “Prom

This year’s Super Bowl commercial is another big win for Audi’s brilliant marketing team, not only because of the spot itself—which was for the bad-ass S6 sedan—but because of the social-media program that surrounded it. A week before the game, Audi invited people to visit their Facebook page to vote for one of three endings with the promise that the winner would be revealed during the game. But of course, the company tipped its hand, and the spot had more than 6.6 million views on YouTube by game time. The spot itself is extremely well executed (shades of Superbad?), but the kid in BMW’s prom commercial I reviewed last month got a cuter girl without suffering a shiner.

Mercedes-Benz “Soul”

Kate Upton. Willem Dafoe. Usher. Mad Men’s Jon Hamm. Original Stones track. Cast of thousands. Multiple locations. Incredible SFX. There are foreign countries with GDPs that are smaller than this commercial’s budget. But you know what? It’s money well spent. The entire production is as sharp as Satan Dafoe’s fingernails. Conceptually, it’s brilliant: At just $29,990 (plus destination), you don’t have to make a deal with the devil to get a real Mercedes and everything the brand stands for. Mercedes is going to sell a ton of CLAs, and this commercial is a big reason why. Huge IMP factor.

Ram “So God Made a Farmer”

Using an original, scratchy recording of the late Paul Harvey, this is a two-minute sermon about why God created farmers. It’s poignant, accurate, and powerful, especially for America’s independent farmers, who not so incidentally rely on their trucks. While it’s intended to sell Rams, there’s no exploitation here, just a handful of fleeting visual product references. The real focus is on portraits of the men, women, and children of this nation’s independent farm community. If it makes them seem like heroes, it’s because so many of them are.

Volkswagen “Get In, Get Happy”

Not since Taco Bell’s talking Chihuahua has a Super Bowl commercial made such good use of an old trick: lip sync someone else’s voice to completely change a character’s personality. Allstate Insurance does it with spokesman Dennis Haysbert’s dulcet tones and the e-Trade baby will forever be a classic, but VW’s new “Jamerican” is destined for greatness. I’ve already used “Don’ fret, me brother—sticky bun be comin’ soon!” a few times, and I’ll bet I’m not alone. This commercial hits the brand/image reinforcement nail on the head with a sledgehammer and probably will get a lot of votes for favorite car commercial of the game.

The Meh

Hyundai “Team”

Although the Santa Fe being advertised here could easily be swapped out for any other seven-passenger vehicle (the copy makes no product claims other than passenger capacity), this feel-good spot likely will be lauded for its anti-bullying message, and that’s okay with me. In the spirit of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, a supportive Mom helps her son round up a ragtag team of unlikely looking boys with remarkable physical skills (like bear wresting and welding) to teach football-stealing baddies a lesson. Whether you’re a Ravens or 49ers fan, here’s one team we can all root for.

Hyundai “Stuck”

Nobody likes to get stuck behind slow-moving vehicles. Even moderately unpleasant obstacles like horse trailers or bikers displaying their ample butts have you searching for the next passing zone, so imagine if you were inches behind a tanker truck dripping toxic fluids, an about-to-explode fireworks truck, or a trailer full of ICBMs aimed squarely at your windshield. If you had a 274-hp turbocharged Hyundai Sonata, you could put all that behind you in fast order. And that’s the point made by this well-art-directed, mildly humorous commercial. The Jeff Bridges voiceover might make the spot more entertaining for fans of The Big Lebowski’s “Dude.”

Kia “Hotbots”

This commercial is aimed at the 2014 Forte’s young, male target audience, who likely will appreciate the gratuitous body-slamming that the out-of-line geeky kid gets for dissing the robot chicks and smudging the car’s windows. I had to watch it a few times to realize that the noises at the beginning are robot movement sounds and not crows, though. Better audio mixing would have helped. The models look more like replicants than robots anyway. Daryl Hannah didn’t make noises when she moved, but Blade Runner was long before these kids were born. The copy says nothing. Literally.

The Worst

Hyundai “Epic Playdate”

As near as I can tell, this is a video for The Flaming Lips song “Sun Blows Up Today.” It looks like the creators made the spot up as they went along, maybe using The Beatles’ disjointed “Hard Day’s Night” for inspiration. The vignettes are embarrassingly dated, hopelessly trite, and wholly unbelievable. The Santa Fe is merely a prop—the commercial says nothing about it other than it carries seven passengers. The father’s last line confirms my suspicion that it was hastily thrown together as a Super Bowl special. Epic? Yes—as in fail.

Jeep “Whole Again”

Jeep and Oprah Winfrey teamed to make this two-minute tribute to our returning vets and their families. It’s a beautifully crafted, emotional salute that expresses the gratitude we all feel for those who serve our country and keep us safe from harm. And then they go and blow it all by turning it into a self-serving Jeep commercial. Another Chrysler brand, Dodge, has a terrific Challenger commercial that makes the same point by showing a returning soldier and his young son. In that spot, the car is key to the relationship but it’s never mentioned. Surely Jeep could have done the same.

Kia “Space Babies”

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that a lot of Super Bowl viewers—especially young mothers—liked this commercial about a father’s awkward answer to his son’s question about the birds and bees. They liked the adorable computer-generated babies (both human and animal), they liked the mostly sweet but wink-wink explanation that Dad offers, and they liked the inclusion of species from all lands. And I’ll stay out on that same limb to say that the vast majority of them won’t remember the vehicle being advertised. (It was the Sorento.) And who can blame them? It’s hardly ever shown.

Lincoln “Phoenix”

When Ford introduced the “Lincoln Motor Company” late last year, it invested millions of dollars to run a commercial that showed models from that brand’s glory days and told us that “this is about moving forward by looking back” to cars that proudly represented the Lincoln ideal. With this new commercial, it pulled a 180 and showed a ’90s Town Car that has a close encounter with a flame thrower and emerges as an MKZ, this time telling us that our memories of the brand are all wrong: “It’s not what you think.” Jeez, Lincoln, make up your mind!

Lincoln “Steer The Script”

To make the most of their social-media efforts, Lincoln teamed with Jimmy Fallon (and his extensive roster of Twitter followers) to create an MKZ commercial inspired by tweets about real people’s memorable road trips. Thousands of submissions were narrowed down to five tweets, which were cobbled together to make an entertaining 90-second spot. Of course, none of the original road trips happened in an MKZ, but the spot works nonetheless. At least in the longer version. But during the game, Lincoln aired the lame 30-second clip. They should have scrapped the “Phoenix” buy and run the longer one instead. Again, Lincoln, make up your mind! (We do dig the Wil Wheaton cameo, though.)

Toyota RAV4 “Wish Granted”

The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco is funny and well-liked. So Toyota decided to make her a genie who grants wishes to RAV4 owners. Of course, this has nothing to do with reality (or the new RAV4), as this ridiculous commercial demonstrates. The spot is likable enough—gotta love the talking squirrels and Dr. Chocolate—but it’s completely irrelevant to the RAV4, which just sits in the driveway while Ms. Cuoco (stuffed into an ill-fitting purple pantsuit) and the Henderson family magically fly through time and space on their imaginary adventures. Two words come to mind: stupid and why?

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Can Lincoln Pull Off Its ‘Steer The Script’ Superbowl Ad?

By Kurt Ernst

Lincoln Steer Script

Lincoln wants its customers to know that it’s a new car company, with new products and a new way of thinking. To demonstrate this philosophy, Lincoln will be attempting an entirely new concept to advertise at this year’s Super Bowl XLVII.

Rather than fund a big-budget clip that entertains and amazes, Lincoln turned to its fans on Twitter (which, at the risk of sounding sarcastic, has to be something of a small population). These followers would Tweet road trip stories, to be sorted, condensed and turned into a script by comedian Jimmy Fallon.

We’re road trip veterans ourselves, and we’ll let you in on a little secret: our best road trip stories aren’t exactly suitable for broadcast on network TV, and all the rest is really nothing more than filler. The individual stories used to compile the full ad may border on the amusing, but we’re being kind.

A herd of llamas wandering on the road causes the alpacalypse, while a biker gang plays checkers with a family waiting for a herd of turtles to cross the road. A man accidentally drives onto the set of a science fiction movies, then proceeds to eat its catering. A driver picks up a hitchhiking German tourist.

Maybe we’re missing something, but these sound like B-reel outtakes from our own road trip collection. Even Lincoln knows it may swing and miss here, so it’s prepared a second Super Bowl campaign starring the MKZ sedan. In it, the MKZ rises from the flames of a burning Lincoln Town Car, much like the legendary Phoenix that’s reborn in fire.

Frankly, we think Lincoln is reaching just a bit too far on this one. What’s your take? Is Lincoln edgy, or simply over-the-edge here?

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Automotive Addicts

Lincoln Goes Into Super Bowl On Fallon-Induced Twitter Jag

By Dale Buss, Contributor Lincoln’s revival bid will slam into top gear on Super Bowl Sunday with TV advertising that will highlight the new MKZ sedan and the fresh positioning Ford is trying to give a marque that has been sleeping for decades. Under Jimmy Fallon’s Twitter-fed and crowdsourced creative influence, Lincoln’s effort already may be generating the most curiosity about what any auto brand is doing in the Big Game.
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Detroit: MKC Concept is the real fresh start for Lincoln [w/poll]

By Chris Paukert

Filed under: , , ,

Lincoln MKC Concept

We were admittedly bullish about the Lincoln MKC Concept when we introduced it to you yesterday, as we were taken aback by how cohesive the C-platform crossover is in the metal. As it turns out, so were you, dear reader. With hundreds of comments booked on our original Deep Dive story, the overwhelming temperature of the Autoblog Commenteriat is one of surprise and delight – quite an accomplishment for a marque that many had written off for dead. The reception here under the bright lights of the Detroit Auto Show appears to be no less positive, but we thought you might want a second, closer look afforded by these live photos.

Lincoln remains mum on production MKC drivetrain specifics (we’re thinking it will start with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder out of its similarly sized Ford Escape relative, or maybe the midlevel 1.6-liter), but we shouldn’t have to wait too long. The showcar is expected to closely mirror the production model (due as early as later this year), so much so that Ford global marketing boss Jim Farley explicitly told the press conference masses, “When you see the MKC, do not think concept.” That’s good news, as the MKC is pivotal to Lincoln’s effort to rebuild awareness and consideration on the back of its MKZ sedan, a model just now going on sale. In fact, with the small crossover segment exploding, the MKC could very well turn out to be more important to the brand than the MKZ.

After seeing these new photos, are you more or less enamored with Lincoln’s new concept? Leave a comment after voting in our poll below.

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Continue reading MKC Concept is the real fresh start for Lincoln [w/poll]

MKC Concept is the real fresh start for Lincoln [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Jan 2013 10:39:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Deep Dive: Lincoln MKC Concept shows real promise

By Chris Paukert

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Lincoln MKC Concept - front three-quarter view

Ford’s efforts to resuscitate its moribund Lincoln luxury brand began in earnest with the introduction of its 2014 MKZ sedan, a model many labeled as the marque’s make-or-break offering. Of course, one model does not a comeback make, and with the MKZ just now starting to trickle into dealers, it will be some time before America’s jury of consumers comes in with their judgment. More to the point, it’s likely to take better than a decade’s worth of products and sustained marketing effort to even begin to figure out whether Lincoln has a shot at redemption or if it will die of Mercury poisoning. After all, rival General Motors has been pouring resources into Cadillac since the late ’90s, and if the sales charts are any guidance, it’s still probably too early to declare its rebirth a success.

Lincoln MKC Concept - rear three-quarter viewCertainly, a brand with Ford’s resources, free of distractions (read: the now-defunct Premier Auto Group and various other side projects) should be able to successfully market a single luxury brand, particularly one with such a rich – if distant – history. Especially now with the Blue Oval enjoying more consumer goodwill than at any time in recent history. So let’s all give Alan Mulally and friends a little room to work, eh?

We can start by focusing on the compact crossover seen before you, the Lincoln MKC Concept. Riding atop the same global C-platform that underpins the Ford C-Max, Escape and Focus, the MKC showcar here presages a production small CUV that will stick its distinctive nose into one of the auto industry’s fastest-growing segments.

Continue reading Lincoln MKC Concept shows real promise

Lincoln MKC Concept shows real promise originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 13 Jan 2013 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog