Auto brands often tout an offering or a design or even a front-end grille as their “new face.” So much so, it’s considered an automotive trope.
When Lincoln re-launched itself 10 years ago, it avoided tropes and the inauthentic. In the ensuing years, this American luxury automotive brand stylishly upped its game to show a very new face to the world. Along the way, the brand formed an authentic, high-profile mutual admiration with Matthew McConaughey. Who noted early on that “I've been driving a Lincoln since long before anybody paid me to drive one.”
So, when Hudson Rouge and KRo were asked to come up with a way to build awareness by celebrating Lincoln’s 100-year anniversary, we suggested a social approach that turned the new face trope on its head. We suggested using 100 faces. Literally. We decided to spotlight 100 influential people who share the brand’s values and passions for music, design, travel, and wellness. Individuals who also represent the younger buyers now shopping Lincoln.
We called the approach the 100 Faces of Lincoln.
Our strategy for the 100 Faces of Lincoln was to find creators whose values and passions aligned with that of the brand, and truly put them at the center of the sanctuary that is the Lincoln experience of today. Then, let them speak to their audiences authentically about what intrigued and excited them about the brand and the product. Collectively demonstrating the real surprise and delight of driving a Lincoln as well as portraying the fresh, more inclusive outlook of the brand.
The team researched over 1000 creators to find the final 100 – the vetting process included a deep dive into social channels / websites, a formal background check and data verification from 2 creator portals. The creators were selected based first on their passions and then, secondly, on their story telling ability.
A year-long, content collaboration program featuring 100 diverse, social creators from across the country is easier said than done. It was a massive program to manage. Orchestrating creative and account teams, analytics, agents and managers, music licensing, influencer travel to brand events, paid support, legal and product reviews of all content and more.
A breakdown of the creators:
To round out the 100 Faces program we launched a unique hashtag and a 100 Faces of Lincoln microsite where users could learn more about the creators and their stories.
With thousands of pieces of unique social content, tens of millions of impressions, clicks, views, and comments, we succeeded in establishing a fresh, dynamic face for the brand on social. We also exceeded awareness goals, built an impressive library of content for Lincoln’s social channels, and while selling a Lincoln was never a goal, the 100 Faces of Lincoln even managed to directly sell over a dozen vehicles.
It’s nice when results really do speak for themselves. More honestly, they kind of blew us away.
Noteworthy on the Paid side of the campaign, we saw a significant lift in message agreement, "Lincoln is a Brand For Me", among those exposed (Especially A35-44.) +4.3 ppts of those exposed to campaign vs. those not exposed. The Auto Norm is +1.8 ppts.
All in all, Lincoln’s centennial birthday was a smash.
You can pay anyone to post anything these days. But money can’t buy love. Many of the creators were so inspired they went above and beyond for this project, delivering numerous extra pieces of content and have become true ambassadors for the brand:
“Working with the brand completely improved my perception of the brand--I actually ended up buying a Lincoln after working together. I realized Lincoln had everything I was looking for in a new car, and on the road the experience is just unparalleled.”