ON Dec. 3, Lincoln formally rebranded itself the Lincoln Motor Company, kicking off a marketing barrage for Ford's sole remaining luxury division. A Facebook post announcing the brand's name change attracted nearly 2,000 comments.
"Hey, look everybody, we changed our name so our cars seem better," one commenter wrote. Welcome to social media, Lincoln Motor Company.
Timed to coincide with the introduction of the redesigned MKZ sedan, Lincoln's rebranding is clearly intended to help differentiate its cars from the Fords on which they're based.
To that end, the company offers the Lincoln Host and 24/7 Concierge Service, where a personal concierge helps guide you through the buying process and then stays on as your Man Friday after you own the car.
Perhaps that concierge could book you a nice restaurant for Lincoln Date Night, which the company says will "provide the opportunity to spend a weekend with a new vehicle and take that special someone for a night on the town courtesy of the brand."
Maybe you and your date can speculate about how much Lincoln is paying former football player and "Dancing With the Stars" winner Emmitt Smith for his new duties as "brand ambassador."
Finally, Lincoln is creating a Super Bowl ad by commissioning Jimmy Fallon to collect script ideas via Twitter, a project called "Steer the Script." On Dec. 10, the Lincoln Motor Company tweeted "We love your roadtrip story" to someone who uses the handle @fartbox_punch.
Over at the Steer the Script Facebook page, a commenter named Dennis Miriani wrote: "This is pathetic. If Lincoln needs a gimmick like this to figure out the marketing direction for the brand, they may be too far gone." EZRA DYERautonews
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.