To showcase features of its new small premium utility model and to appeal to younger car buyers, luxury automaker Lincoln has launched a “social media influencer campaign,” by way of an interactive video called “Dream Ride.”
Describing “Dream Ride” as “an immersive virtual ride experience that puts online visitors in the passenger seat of an MKC,” Lincoln says participants travel with actor Sam Page as he pursues a suspected wallet thief. Along the way, they get to see an up-close look at the new 2015 MKC model, including features like available park-out assist and forward collision warning.
Viewers can watch the video without logging in, but Lincoln recommends they personalize the experience by connecting with Facebook, “furthering the social media impact initiated by” digital network, strategy, and design studio Largetail. They can also choose to log in to Facebook to see personalized elements like their names on a credit card and profile images in a wallet during the three-and-a-half-minute video.
To promote the video among a younger demographic, Lincoln says it tapped so-called social media influencers in entertainment, music, and automotive, including Bravo TV’s Andy Cohen, music duo Johnnyswim, and automotive journalist and Fit Father blogger Kimatni Rawlins. These parties will share commentary on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
In addition, Lincoln says custom “Dream Ride” content will be created and published within outlets in Largetail’s network.
“Content marketing is a vital part of reaching younger audiences,” said Andrew Frick, group marketing manager at Lincoln, in a prepared statement. “As we enter the small premium utility segment, we know it’s important to authentically engage customers according to their lifestyle, especially when they are still getting to know our new brand.”
A Lincoln rep was not available for further comment by deadline.
Paul Chaney, principal of Chaney Marketing Group, says the Facebook integration makes “Dream Ride” more fun, but the most impressive element is the use of influencers – particularly those that appeal to Lincoln’s target audience.
However, he questions, “Will it convince younger people to purchase a car from an automotive brand that has historically been associated with older people? Who knows? A campaign not unlike this worked for Old Spice. Perhaps it will for Lincoln as well.”
Others also liked the interactive experience. Erika Trautman, chief executive of interactive video firm Rapt Media, says viewers will likely stay engaged with the video and brand for more than three minutes, which is great for Lincoln. She tells ClickZ that she herself watched the video multiple times to see if there were differences and suspects the brand will benefit from multiple views from other visitors as well.
Trautman says the only missed opportunity is mobile.
“Since it’s Flash, if a viewer is watching on their tablet or smartphone, they get a standard linear video experience, and Lincoln loses those engagement benefits from the interactivity,” she says. “Studies show that viewers do stay engaged with great interactive video content on smartphones and tablets, so digital marketers really should consider a mobile-inclusive video strategy.”