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The next installments in Matthew McConaughey’s campaign for Lincoln Motors will air New Year’s Day during college football games.
The new 30-second commercials are directed by Nicolas Winding Refn—the Danish director of 2011’s Drive—who helmed the McConaughey spots for Lincoln’s MKC crossover SUV that first aired in October.
Those ads were quickly parodied by Conan O’Brien, Ellen DeGeneres, Jim Carrey and South Park for McConaughey’s murmured aphorisms (“Sometimes you gotta go back to actually move forward”) in the style of his monologues as True Detective’s Rust Cohle.
The new spots, shot by Refn in Los Angeles and promoting Lincoln’s MKZ flagship sedan, continue in the style of the originals.
In “Diner,” shot in L.A.’s trendy Silver Lake neighborhood, a bearded McConaughey contemplates an MKZ parked outside the restaurant on a rainy night; when the rain ends, he opens the car’s sunroof and drives away quietly exclaiming, “There we go…”
In the more parody-ready “Balance,” McConaughey contemplates a smoggy sunset from Griffith Park while philosophizing in a Texas drawl: “It’s not about huggin’ trees — it’s not about bein’…wasteful, either” before motoring down a winding road and declaring, “Just gotta find that balance…that’s the sweet spot.”
Though ridiculed, McConaughey’s ads for the MKC were hits for Lincoln—the struggling carmaker’s overall sales rose 25 percent the month after the ads first appeared; sales of the MKC leapt from 1,763 units to 2,197 in the same period. Digital Marketing firm Amobee Brand Intelligence estimated that the SNL spoofs, which generated more than 8 million views on YouTube, led to a more than 100 percent increase in Lincoln’s brand visibility across social media.
David Rivers, Lincoln’s marketing communications director, told The Hollywood Reporter shortly after the parodies began airing that “we’re extremely excited about the [McConaughey] partnership and with the initial public reaction.”
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