Ford calls on Mad Men star in quest to make Lincoln cool again

Ford Motors is hoping the retro glamour of hit TV series Mad Men will rub off on its Lincoln brand this weekend.

The car giant has picked John Slattery, who plays the agency head Roger Sterling in the show, to front three new commercials which will run in the U.S during the Ryder Cup golf tournament between Europe and the USA.

After selling off Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo, the Lincoln is Ford's last chance in the luxury market, but after being neglected by the company for two decades, the brand has serious problems. Its average buyer is well over 60 and cooler generations regard the model as an airport limo or ideal for a funeral procession.

The latest models are up to date however and have gained some respect in the motoring press. Now Ford wants the brand image to match the product quality, so the louche, badly behaved Roger Sterling has been called into action.

The slogan is ” It's not just luxury, it's smarter than that” and Slattery at one point rolls out the line, “If you are going to buy a new luxury car … shouldn't there be something new about it?” in typical downbeat Mad Men fashion.

There are two ads going out for the MKZ Hybrid sedan and one for the MKX crossover. Maybe Slattery's weekend blitz will help to make the Lincoln brand cool again.

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About David O'Reilly

David is a former deputy editor of Campaign and writer for a number of leading titles including Management Today and the Sunday Times. He is a partner in The Editorial Partnership.