Lincoln decided to bring back the Continental.
Let me restate this; LINCOLN HAS BROUGHT BACK THE CONTINENTAL.
What makes this a big deal? Well, The Continental was the car JFK was shot in because it served as his presidential Limo for one. It’s a classic American luxury sedan, as a matter of fact, it was one of the first to be mass produced. It served a long life from 1939-2002 before a hiatus. It's made its return to sale starting at $45,485 which gets you a 3.7 liter v6. From there you can choose from an array of packages such as the climate package, technology package, and rear seat package. The Select trim is the lowest price level which is $48,440, but you can upgrade the engine to the 2.7L ecoboost making it $50,690. The next highest trim, the reserve level is $54,840, and once you get there you can pay an extra $3256 to get the 400hp engine. Finally the highest trim, the “Black Label” starts at $63,840, and you still have to pay extra cash to get the 400 horsepower v6, along with fully loading it. The car comes in either FWD or AWD. What the Black Label does come with is premium materials like Venetian leather, designer woods, anytime car washes, and “membership in the Lincoln Black Label Culinary Collection network of upscale restaurants.” The new continental has potential as a luxury sedan. The exterior reminds me of a Bently in a way, but the interior is unique and spacious.
In bringing back the Continental, Lincoln needed a way to market it, and get the name out there. They needed this car to reclaim its spot as an American luxury sedan. Really, the Cadillac CT6 is the only full-sized luxury sedan from America that comes to mind. How did Lincoln decide to do this? Lincoln decided to use Art and creative endeavors to promote this American icon. They hired famed portrait photographer, Annie Leibovitz, to shoot a series of images to be used as promotional material. She took her time and came up with “The Continental”. “Since the Continental was born of the notion of going out into the world and allowing it to make an imprint, Annie saw the natural storyline in the road trip as an interpretation of the continental approach to life.” Annie talks of using the continental and the roadtrip as a beautiful metaphor for everything involved. It sounds great in theory because Art will sell the vehicle to new consumers who want to buy a different brand and make the car seem high class.
But this isn’t the end result.
The Photos instantly scream "this is artistic". Well shot and well composed; they use sightlines, vast scenes that showcase the landscape of America, fresh faces staring into the camera, and well-dressed young people, but none of it is about the car really. That’s the problem. It’s well shot, their photos you want to look at, they look like they belong in the first 20 pages of GQ, however, the photos don’t do much for the car. The photos are so well done and Annie had such a good vision, that really you could replace it with any car and it would elicit the same feelings. It’s really good stuff to look at, because art.
Even the people used are GQ-esque. It asks the question, who exactly were they marketing the car to? Is the plan here to market it to young creative types, or just to young hip, cool types, or both, or perhaps someone different altogether? I ask this question because this is what you’re left caring about. After I look at these images and this ad, I come away wondering more about the people than the car. But this was part of Lincolns strategy; they stated,”I think it starts with the fact that we're positioning Lincoln as a warmer, more human-oriented brand than the other luxury manufacturers, who tend to focus on the machine itself.”
You have to ask, will these images get people talking about the car?
If the answer is no, these don’t get anyone talking about the car, that’s okay, because art.
If the answer is YES, they do get people talking then I have to applaud Lincoln. They have done what no one else has right now. They are starting to market cars to the younger generation that is beginning to graduate college and get jobs of their own.
Lincoln went into this with a good vision. If you head over to their site, they’re doing a lot of creative things to make the Continental appealing. The one thing they must realize from this opportunity though is that it’s about the car. The car is the subject. You can sell a lifestyle, but the lifestyle should be a product of the car. Next time Lincoln wants to do something because art, they have to remember, Artist sell Art, you are selling cars, when you come together you should be selling both.
To see more of the photos and another behind the scenes video head over to http://now.lincoln.com/thats-continental/