Ford’s New Lincoln MKX Campaign: For African-American Women Only?

A new ad for the 2011 Lincoln MKX started airing this week, and the press is all agog over the fact that the commercial features African-American women.

The bulk of news headlines about the campaign, from The Wall Street Journal to the Detroit News, read something akin to, “Ford Targets African-American Women With New MKX Campaign.”

The interesting thing is, Ford never said that.

This is their actual statement:

“This campaign was designed to spotlight the new level of luxury, style and technology found within the 2011 Lincoln MKX,” said Shawn Lollie, Lincoln multicultural marketing manager. “We’re going to really highlight how Lincoln products are an extension of a person’s life, in this case a successful African-American woman’s.”

I love that Ford is making a strong commitment to the women’s market. This first ad tells an impressive story – combined with strong elements of persuasion and insight into a woman’s internal values – that just happens to feature a successful African-American woman.

It will be interesting to watch this series of ads unfold, and I’m eager to see the other stories Ford tells, from different cultural perspectives.

From cars to marketing, Ford is doing many things right these days – it’s nice to be excited for an American car company again.

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5 Responses to “Ford’s New Lincoln MKX Campaign: For African-American Women Only?”

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  1. Michelle –

    I agree completely. It’s really a shame that the press, in their endless quest to gin up something controversial to say, chose to present this very positive development from Ford with a negative spin.

    I also agree with your note that it’s a pleasure to see Ford breaking away from the pack of American car marketers with some innovative new approaches in product development and marketing. Good for them, and I wish them every success!

    (Now, if you and I and our other Marketing to Women colleagues can only get them to realize that fully 60% of new cars are bought by women….and that a true, consistent outreach to women would be the fastest way to boost their brand in both the short and the long run…. Then we could pretty much guarantee they’d reap the benefits of of this insight on a grand scale!)

    Marti Barletta
    Author, Marketing to Women; PrimeTime Women

  2. Thanks for adding your insight, Marti! It will be interesting to see what Ford continues to do for female customers, because they will definitely be the driving force (no pun intended) for the success of the brand.

  3. Dr. Wright says:

    Wow, I had not seen the ad until reading your blog, so it will be interesting to see what channels and programs this actually airs.

    It’s pretty impressive considering there are very few commercials with African American Women featured in them. I guess they think we don’t buy cars or we do not have money to buy cars. Ford has figured out that there is a large population of African Americans who are middle class, not everyone lives in the urban ghetto.

    Traditionally brands have recognized that there is a large consumer base in the African American community, it’s nice to see someone else besides KFC and McDonald’s acknowledge this.

  4. I love this campaign and I am the brand target for the Lincoln MKX girl!

  5. Thomas J. Couzens says:

    I am glad to see the automotive industry starting to increase its market share of Women. We need to come back to our roots of marketing. Understand your market, and understand your consumer. Automotive industries have been stereotyping women in commercials for years.

    Women are conducting the prelimary research and marketers are missing the golden opportunity. Men are transactional and Women are relationship based. As Men we buy products and services, Women join what a brand stands for.

    As a Man I have never walked into a store and bought toilet paper because of what that brand supports.

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