With Mercury gone, Ford has decided to take the advertising budget of the former brand and give it to Lincoln. While Lincoln will surely accept any extra money, it's unclear exactly how much Mercury spent in 2010.
"We don't talk about advertising funding in today's fluid and quick reacting media spending market," said Christian Bokich, Lincoln's public relations manager, to Automobile magazine, "but we'll continue with the same advertising path started in Fall 2010 with our ads featuring MKZ Hybrid, MKX 2-row crossover, and MKS sedan and spokesperson John Slattery. Our goal is to convey the good news about the Lincoln MK-badged vehicles in our portfolio, all of which have launched in the U.S. market within the past 2 years.
Any future campaign is likely to include Lincoln's now-standard complimentary maintenance program. Standard for the first four years or 45,000 miles of ownership, the maintenance plan is transferable to a second owner and includes oil and filter changes, tire rotations, and multipoint inspections will be free for up to eight service visits.
"We've got some pretty good products now," said Bob Tasca Jr., chairman of the dealer council, to Automotive News. "We just need to talk about them more."
Lincoln's most popular vehicles, like the MKZ sedan and MKX crossover, will probably receive a big boost until additional new models are added to the lineup. Through November of 2010, Lincoln sales numbered 77,768 units, good for an increase of 7.4 percent. Mercury sales were a bit higher, though the last of the brand – a Mariner SUV – rolled off the line on October 3. More units have been produced for government agencies, Detroit News reports.
If you were leading Lincoln's advertising team, in which direction would you take the brand?