Lincoln Sales Surge After Matthew McConaughey Ad Campaign

The company reports its strongest October sales since 2007, led by a surge in demand for the MKC model featured in TV spots starring the actor and parodied by Ellen, Conan and 'SNL'

It looks like Lincoln Motors is getting the last laugh with its oft-parodied Matthew McConaughey spots for the MKC crossover SUV. 

Lincoln announced that its overall sales were up 25 percent last month, the strongest October for the beleaguered marque since 2007. And of the 8,883 vehicles Lincoln sold in October, 2,197 were MKCs.

Sales of the MKC have increased every month since the SUV launched last May but took a big leap — from 1,763 units in September to 2,197 in October — after the McConaughey commercials and their multiple parodies began airing.

The spots, helmed by Nicholas Winding Refn, the Danish director of 2011’s Drive, comprise moody shots of McConaughey behind the wheel of the MKC murmuring aphorisms (“Sometimes you gotta go back to actually move forward”) in the style of his monologs as True Detective’s Rust Cohle.

In addition to spoofs by Conan O'Brien, Ellen DeGeneres and South Park, SNL aired no less than three parodies of the commercials on its Oct. 25 episode.

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In the parodies, host Jim Carrey appears as McConaughey poking fun at the Oscar-winning actor's willingness to appear in a car commercial as well as Lincoln's sedate image — when children in the backseat complain that the car is traveling only 5 miles per hour, Carrey-as-McConaughey replies, "Not bad for a Lincoln."

Digital marketing firm Amboee Brand Intelligence told the Detroit News that the SNL spoofs led to a more than 100 percent increase in Lincoln's brand's visibility across social media after the episode aired. The parodies have since generated more than 7 million views on YouTube.

David Rivers, Lincoln's marketing communications director, told The Hollywood Reporter shortly after the DeGeneres and O'Brien parodies aired that  "we're extremely excited about the partnership and with the initial public reaction to the MKC campaign."

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