Lincoln Marries Old With New in Mobilized Retro Ad for Newsweek

MobileMarketer notes: Lincoln’s ad in the Heritage edition of Newsweek, which is a homage to ’60s style exemplified by “Mad Men,” successfully marries the old with the new by using digital watermark technology so readers can access exclusive content.

Newsweek’s special retro-modern issue celebrates the launch of Mad Men’s fifth season by recreating the look of the magazine during the 60s but with all original content. Lincoln’s goal for its print ad and related TV advertising is to leverage the excitement and visibility around Mad Men to tell the story of the brand’s past and present.
“For Lincoln, this unique advertisement opportunity in Newsweek makes sense because it highlights the strong heritage of the brand, but through mobile demonstrates how things have gotten very interesting at Lincoln,” said Connie Fontaine, marketing communications manager for Lincoln, Dearborn, MI.

“It allowed us to maintain the integrity of the original ad which is very Mad Men-esque, while driving mobile users to relevant content that highlights Max Wolff, Lincoln’s director of design, discussing automotive styling of the 60’s and the elements of that era that inspire his work,” she said.

“Mobile allows for the immediate connection to interesting content in a way consumers are consuming media more and more every day.”

Retro look, modern feel
All of the ads appearing in the issue also have a retro look. Readers can use decidedly modern technology – their smartphones – to scan the Lincoln ad to learn more about Lincoln.

Lincoln partnered with Digimarc to create the digitally watermarked ad, which appears on page 37 of the special issue.

A box at the bottom of the page lets readers know they can use their smartphones to scan the phota of a 60s Lincoln Continental that appears in the ad to access related content.

After scanning the ad, readers are presented with a video featuring Mr. Wolff, who talks about the Lincoln Continental’s past and future design elements.

Lincoln’s campaign around Mad Men also includes a vignette featuring one of the show’s stars, John Slattery, and a 30-second spot for the new 2013 MKS. Both will run for 13 weeks within the airing of Mad Men.

Brand integrity
Digimarc’s digital watermark technology is embedded in the printed ad but is not visible to readers so as not to affect the ad’s design. The technology gives brands such as Lincoln the ability to create custom, scannable-design elements that behave like a 2D bar code without impacting the overall design.

“Brands, such as Lincoln and others, make such large investments in their creative efforts that it really does not make sense for them to mar the aesthetics of the finished product with a visible mobile response code,” said Ed Knudson, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Digimarc, Beaverton, OR.

“Digital watermarks provide brands with the ability to create print-to-mobile campaigns to reach consumers while maintaining the integrity of their creative vision,” he said.

In the future, it will be possible for brands to use digital watermarks in print as well as TV and radio campaigns.

“There was some buzz around television ad-to-mobile experiences around some of this year’s Super Bowl commercials, but seeing a true 360-degree print/broadcast-to-mobile campaign using digital watermarks is still a ways off,” Mr. Knudson said.


More on this special Mad Men edition of Newsweek, here

and Mercedes’ ad, too (with nothing particularly Viewthrough about the execution, though)