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Hello There, “Hello, Again!”

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Abraham Lincoln is to David Bowie as … well, I’m not quite sure to be honest.  But according to the marketing team at Lincoln Motors, it was the memory of the former president that inspired their latest campaign – “Hello, Again.”  Though deliberately vague in revealing details, Lincoln Motors describes “Hello, Again” as a year-long program during which Lincoln Motors will align themselves with progressive artists across a series of projects and fields all celebrating the spirit of re-imagination.

The initiative recently launched with an online digital experience that showcases a live performance by Beck: a re-imagination of David Bowie’s iconic “Sound and Vision.” A fully immersive, 360 degree experience, the content was recorded by microphones and cameras lining every inch and potential angle in the room.  The result: online viewers can both watch and hear the show from ANY vantage point, including what Beck and his 160+ supporting band themselves are each hearing and seeing.

You may ask yourself: “What does a 360 degree Beck concert have to do with selling cars and Lincoln as a brand?” Now, now – dear reader – don’t we all know better than to ask such naïve questions?! I mean, let’s be real.  Who wasn’t lusting after a Carl’s Jr. Southwest Patty Melt after Kate Upton and her ample beauty writhed around in a hot rod stuffing her face with said-sandwich?  In all seriousness, however, Lincoln Motors makes a rather valid claim for relevancy.  The director describes the whole undertaking of “Hello, Again” as a larger “metaphor” that embodies “the personal and surprising differences in product and client experience.” Basically, much like the “Hello, Again” concert was designed with the audience in mind and can be experienced from extremely diverse perspectives, so too does Lincoln Motors seek embrace a more diverse consumer demographic via “creative empathy” – i.e. designing with the audience in mind and pushing this customized experience to new heights.

Call me a sucker for a good metaphor, but I’m actually buying this one.  Not only did the larger campaign make sense to me as a consumer, but I both watched the concert, and then took the time to peruse Lincoln Motor’s website to learn more about the larger initiative.  Keep in mind: I am simply a music lover who doesn’t even own / need a car.  Yet, Lincoln’s marketing plan successfully attracted me to their website, and then provided enough compelling content that I stayed there.  Grand sweeping metaphor and Beck on their side – I only mildly cringed at the brand messaging that is not-so subtly intertwined with the post-modern pastiche / “art is everything” hipster-speak us Gen-Y’ers live by.

The very act itself of revisiting the past and reinventing old classics is a rather brilliant way to reintroduce a brand to a younger audience without totally isolating the older demographic that remains their bread and butter.  And ultimately… if that isn’t the equivalent of President Lincoln uniting the North and South under one nation, then I don’t know what it is.

Judge for yourself here.

P.S. David Bowie is a god, thank you very much.

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