Lincoln bought the emperor’s new clothes.
This ad appeared in the February 2017 Fast Company magazine (in a very high-priced spot — the inside front cover). Lincoln paid a massive amount of money for the ad series, shot by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Agency Hudson Rouge made out like a bandit.
But Lincoln did not think about their real audience. Showing a 20-something person behind the wheel of a $60,000-ish luxury car, newly-minted from a marque typically bought by people above 60, will not make 20-something people want to buy one. Nor will it make 60-year olds who want to be 20-something want to buy one.
No matter how much the critics like the car.
Yes, it would have been appropriate for Lincoln to push the envelope in their marketing — but not so far.
Maybe they should have put kids under 10 behind the wheel — that audience will need to buy cars, eventually.
New windows for an old building… sometimes that doesn’t work.
Seeing this gap reminded me of reading a great phrase someone really smart once said: “no one puts new wine into old wineskins.”
And that made me think of the gaps that are all over Colorado’s roads. The extreme heat and cold we experience — and the water that seeps underneath our road beds — cause all manner of cracks and holes to appear — and gradually become larger and larger.
Road repair budgets are not what they used to be, so car repair bills related to tires and wheels are becoming commonplace.
Why can’t a smart engineer-type invent an inexpensive elastic road surface that will expand and contract with the changes in weather and precipitation? This surface would need to provide a uniform surface — as in, very smooth.
Know anyone up for the challenge?
When I finished college, I hung out with a group of designers in Dallas, Texas. One of the things we enjoyed was sharing meals together at some of the town’s many many dining establishments. And we would always critique each restaurant’s menu design.
Even though we were (and some of that group still are) involved in designing things like menus — or product packages — we were and are still susceptible to the lure of a well-designed piece.
It makes logical sense that knowing we’re paying for the ambiance of a particular restaurant with basically the same food as a cheaper but more spartan restaurant a few miles away might make us head for the cheaper place — but no. Or we’ll buy a thing with a fancy box instead of the same thing in plain box.
(The budget factor does play into our decisions, of course!)
Experience includes all of our senses. We pay for experience.
Photo: I love many of the designs Starbucks creates, including this mug. And they do a pretty good job with the customer experience, as well.