- Lincoln's first Super Bowl ad, set for the 2013 Super Bowl, will be based on Twitter posts solicited from the public by comedian Jimmy Fallon.
- Ford is hoping the ad will tap into a younger market and help to re-energize its luxury brand, whose sales have lagged in recent years.
- "Crowdsourcing," employing social media to solicit ideas from the public, has been used effectively by other companies but is a radical departure for the conservative Lincoln brand.
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana — An ad for the redesigned 2013 Lincoln MKZ, based on Twitter posts solicited from the public by comedian Jimmy Fallon, will run during the 2013 Super Bowl on February 3.
Tom Kowaleski, a Lincoln spokesman, confirmed for Edmunds on Wednesday that what is being described by the company as a "big ad" is slated for the Super Bowl.
Fallon, a Saturday Night Live alumnus and host of his own late-night talk show, went on Twitter and asked people to post stories about their wackiest road-trip experiences. From more than 6,000 posts, five were chosen to form the basis of the ad.
Although Ford is not saying whether Fallon will appear in the ad, the company is counting on the comic's social-media experience and youthful appeal to help re-energize Lincoln's sales.
The commercial, part of a larger print, broadcast, and digital campaign to update the brand's image, will allow a new generation to "experience the grace and elegance of Lincoln's legacy and its link to the excitement of the all-new MKZ," Lincoln said in December.
Ford will spend an estimated $7 million to run the 60-second spot, being filmed this week in California and marking the first-ever Super Bowl commercial for Lincoln. About 30 seconds of the ad will be based on the Tweets, which include a science-fiction theme, a segment featuring a German hitchhiker, and one depicting multiple marriage proposals.
The concept of soliciting direct input from the public for business purposes has become known as "crowdsourcing," and in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, it has become an important new way for companies to interact with customers. As Fallon Tweeted, "It's a new way of advertising. Fun!"
Edmunds says: It's fun, but whether the crowdsourcing concept is powerful enough to affect auto sales remains to be seen.