Hudson Rouge, Lincoln Team Up with Van Sant, McConaughey

By Erik Oster 

Team Detroit’s New York-based Hudson Rouge division launched a new campaign for the Lincoln MKX, the brand’s third featuring actor Matthew McConaughey, this time teaming up with director Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idao, Good Will Hunting).

Despite McConaughey‘s reappearance, the campaign is something of a departure from its predecessors. While the actor’s original infamous spots for Lincoln’s MKC featured him waxing philosophical while driving around in his MKC and a follow-up campaign for the MKZ followed much the same formula, this time around McConaughey stays silent.

In the full-length online spot “The Winning Hand,” the actor prepares for a night of cards with friends, grabbing his keys and adjusting his black suit, before sliding into his matching MKX and pressing the button to start the engine. Set to a slow jazz song, the spot shows the actor enjoying a ride in the vehicle, showing off its camera security feature, before arriving at a friend’s lavish home for a game of cards. As the ad vuts to the card game his friend apologizes for laying down what he thinks is the winning hand, but a silent McConaughey knows better. The stylishly shot ad slowly arrives at its conclusion with tagline “The Feeling Stays With You,” which emphasizes the luxury aspects of the MKZ and their lasting impact on the driver’s mood. Given such a subtle theme it makes sense to lose the verbosity of previous spots, but the ad may be a tad too slow and subtle for its own good, as its broadcast counterparts will be all too easy for viewers to ignore. The campaign’s 30 and 60-second broadcast spots, “Welcome,” “Arrival” and “Winning Hand” recycle some footage from “The Winning Hand,” while further online ads (featured below) showcase the other characters present in the longer online spot.