DETROIT Dec 3 Ford Motor Co will try to
generate interest in its upscale Lincoln vehicles with an ad
campaign that draws on the brand's heritage and includes its
first-ever Super Bowl spot.
The campaign, which launches Monday, features a 60-second TV
commercial that opens with an image of an actor playing Abraham
Lincoln, the U.S. president after whom the brand is named.
It also relaunches the brand under its original name, the
Lincoln Motor Co.
The second-largest U.S. automaker is hoping to attract
younger, more progressive buyers to its Lincoln vehicles.
Lincoln developed a musty image since its sales peaked two
decades ago, and by harkening back to the past, Ford aims to
show a different side to it.
"This is how Lincoln started. This is how we will become
great again," the automaker says in one print advertisement that
will appear in major newspapers and online media Monday.
Ford is betting that fresh designs, glossier showrooms and a
personalized approach to service will help drive sales. By the
end of the month, Ford dealers will receive the new Lincoln MKZ
sedan, one of several models to be introduced by 2015.
By 2014, Ford plans to introduce the brand in China to take
advantage of a growing appetite for luxury cars in the world's
largest auto market.
Lincoln was the top-selling luxury nameplate in the United
States in the 1990s, but in 2011, sales were just 85,643 - less
than half the vehicles sold by Lexus, Toyota Motor Co's
Ford wants to lower the average age of Lincoln buyers to 57
from 65 years old, and raise the target average annual income
more than 50 percent to nearly $160,000.
Initially, Ford sought to set Lincoln apart from the Ford
brand in its U.S. marketing strategy, not unlike the distinction
between Volkswagen and its top-tier Audi brand. But that
approach changed so that Lincoln could build on Ford's recent
"Traditionally, in North America, you try to hide your
mainstream brand, but every wealthy person in America knows what
happened to Ford," Ford's global head of marketing, Jim Farley,
said in an interview in Beijing in August.
"That's not to say we're going to make Ford a huge part of
the marketing, but we're also not going to hide it," said
Farley, who took on responsibility for the Lincoln brand on Dec.