Y&R Launches Lincoln Aviator

LOS ANGELES Lincoln today breaks a national television campaign introducing the 2003 Lincoln Aviator, the automaker said.

The campaign, from Young & Rubicam in Irvine, Calif., attempts to position Lincoln’s first midsize luxury sport utility vehicle as a smaller, powerful offspring of the full-size Lincoln Navigator. Spending is estimated at $60 million.

The campaign builds upon Lincoln’s “Travel Well” theme. It includes two 30-second TV spots, “Dancing in the Rain” and “Dawn,” as well as a regional spot titled “Antique.” Spots show the youthfulness and playfulness of the unit, said Y&R account executive Rita Sehmi. They end with the voiceover:”Introducing Lincoln’s newest luxury SUV. The 302-horsepower Aviator. A smaller, spirited offspring of Navigator.”

Ads highlight features such as the 302-horsepower V-8 engine, fold-down third-row seat, heated and cooled seating, front-row head- and legroom and a towing capacity of 7,300 pounds.

A man is seen kissing his date good night in “Dancing in the Rain.” He gets into his Aviator and the vehicle “dances” by weaving in and out of lampposts and going through a fountain, said Sehmi. As it starts to rain, he pulls out an umbrella and puts it through the moon roof. When he spots a police officer, he hands the umbrella to the cop.

“Dawn” shows a night out on the town for the Aviator. It is seen parked outside a nightclub, a diner and by a bridge. As the sun starts to rise, the Aviator returns home. It creeps up the driveway and appears to be sneaking into the garage, but the light is on and the Navigator is waiting inside.

“Antique” presents a couple in an Aviator pulling up to an antique shop, while another couple arrives in a Lexus GX. Both emerge from the store with similar benches. The Aviator couple folds down their third-row seat. The Lexus couple is forced to remove their seat and leave it on the sidewalk.

“The new campaign seeks to build Lincoln’s reputation beyond luxury to include performance, agility and power,” said Ann Kalass, marketing communications manager for Lincoln Mercury in Irvine. “With its best-in-class features, the Aviator will attract customers to Lincoln who may never before have considered one of the company’s products.” She added that Lincoln expects nearly 85 percent of Aviator customers to be new to the brand.

The campaign will debut on Fox’s Boston Public. Spots will also air on shows such as Frasier, Law & Order, 60 Minutes, Dateline NBC, King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond.

TV ads are running concurrently with a print campaign that shows the Aviator side-by-side with the Navigator, to underscore the resemblance between the two models. Print ads are running in consumer publications such as Fortune, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Fast Company, Martha Stewart Living and Travel & Leisure.