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Lincoln Breaks From Traditional Advertising During 51st Grammy® Awards, Showcases New MKS


Dearborn, Mich. – Expect the unexpected from Lincoln during commercial breaks for the 51st Grammy® Awards, which air Sunday, at 8p.m. EST on CBS as it debuts the winners from its “Project Rising Stars: Lincoln Video Music Challenge.”

Lincoln and its creative agency, Y&R Team Detroit, created “Project Rising Stars” in collaboration with Gary Calamar – renowned DJ and Grammy-nominated producer and music supervisor. The team selected 10 songs from some of the country’s top emerging music artists and developed a music video-based competition in partnership with Filmaka, an online community for filmmakers and other artists, to create their own original content.

More than 300 submissions were received from hopeful writers and directors seeking to showcase their own creative videos featuring the all-new 2009 Lincoln MKS. The quality of work delivered from entrants throughout the country was so positive that Lincoln – a co-sponsor of the show – decided to air five 30-second trailers of the top original music videos during the Grammys rather than traditional vehicle ads.

“What we’ve learned from research is that the Lincoln MKS is attracting a new group of buyers that are tough to reach with traditional advertising. They’re into technology, film and a wide array of music,” said Thomais Zaremba, Lincoln Mercury Communications Manager. “This opportunity is a great way to create fresh content and put Lincoln in front of a new audience.”

“Project Rising Stars: The Lincoln Music Video Challenge” was designed to showcase new talent, both in front of the camera and behind it.

“Our goal was to create a unique opportunity for undiscovered musical artists and directors and present it in a way that people watching the Grammys would enjoy and appreciate,” she said.

“We provided Filmaka with the song options, a description of the Lincoln MKS’ dynamic design and smart features and asked them to develop a creative treatment for a music video based on the song that best spoke to them,” said Greg Braun, executive creative director, Y&R Team Detroit. “In the end, we were blown away by the submissions. The Filmaka community really jumped in with both feet.”

Jason Haikara, who heads up Marketing and Publicity for Filmaka, says the competition provided an amazing opportunity for the Filmaka community and the musical artists.

“Not only is it a chance to work with a major automotive brand and top ad agency, but it’s an opportunity for them to have their work seen and heard by millions of viewers,” he said.

Though the way in which the Lincoln MKS was portrayed in the videos was significant, Zaremba says it was not the main factor used to determine which videos won the competition. “The primary driver of our decision was, ‘Is it a cool music video? Does it have strong entertainment value? And will it engage the viewer?’ ” she explained.

With that said, Haikara says the filmmakers had a lot of fun figuring out how to incorporate the vehicle in the videos.

“They employed a variety of creative approaches,” he said. “The MKS is a classy, high-tech vehicle, and many of the directors incorporated some of the technology – like SYNC and the SecuriCode™ Keyless Entry system – into the videos.”

Following the Grammy show, viewers will be able to watch the five winning videos – and several additional videos – in their entirety at Viewers also can learn more about the musical artists and filmmakers at

At the end of the day, Zaremba says “Project Rising Starts” follows an entirely fresh marketing campaign for MKS that represents a new way of communicating for Lincoln.

“It is yet another example of Lincoln doing something that no one would expect in a way that no one would expect,” said Zaremba. “We’re very proud of what the MKS is and what it stands for, and we believe that we’re offering a relevant message on an amazing product.”

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 213,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s wholly owned brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit

Team Detroit
Team Detroit brings together five of WPP’s largest marketing and communications agencies in one central location, including JWT, Y&R, Wunderman, Ogilvy & Mather and Mindshare. Created in January, 2007, Team Detroit is structured to offer best-in-class talent and more effective marketing partnerships to its client base. For more information, please visit

Filmaka is an on-line global creative community and marketplace, committed to inspiring, celebrating and rewarding creativity and talent by providing professional opportunities for directors and writers from all around the world. For more information, please visit


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