Thanks to a boost in the Big Apple, the Lincoln American luxury immersion pavilion is going on tour next year.
Some 50,000 tennis fans visited the 8,000-square-foot pavilion from Aug. 28-Sept. 10 at the U.S. Open tennis tournament. Lincoln was a major U.S. Open sponsor. The pavilion featured an upscale theme with mock restaurants and resorts. Visitors could register to win a 2001 Lincoln LS and one of four vacation getaways.
Advertising awareness and overall impressions of the Lincoln brand nudged up a bit after the event, so Lincoln will feature smaller versions of the pavilion in five cities as part of a partnership with Vogue magazine next year, says Deborah Wahl, Lincoln's marketing communications manager.
'The big challenge for us is to gain awareness for the Navigator and LS,' Wahl says. 'We want people to see something new with Lincoln.'
The pavilion was part of Lincoln's first year as a tournament sponsor. The sponsorship will cost the division an estimated $25 million over five years. To gauge the effects of the sponsorship and the pavilion, Lincoln did a small survey of people who attended the tournament and those in the greater New York City area.
1. In a telephone survey of 263 New Yorkers before the event, 5 percent mentioned Lincoln when asked to recall any car advertising. In a follow-up survey of 221 residents after the event, 7 percent mentioned Lincoln.
2. A survey of 185 people who toured the pavilion indicated that recognition for the Navigator was up 38 percent after the tour; mentions of the LS were up 12 percent.
3. When exiting the pavilion, 83 percent of those asked said they liked it, and 47 percent said they would consider Lincoln for their next vehicle purchase.
'We know the samples were not enormous,' Wahl says. 'People in New York know the Town Car, but we wanted them to know that Lincoln stands for other things. We need to keep working on our image; we need to get more people to interact with us.'
That is why Wahl has cut a new deal with Vogue and is taking a mini version of the pavilion to Miami; New York; Chicago; Beverly Hills, Calif.; and Aspen, Colo.
'Being on TV is not good enough,' Wahl says. 'You've got to have an experience relationship with the customer. The tennis deal was the best and biggest thing we've done.'