It’s one of the most well-known car commercials of all time. Matthew McConaughey’s 2014 Lincoln commercial featured the Oscar-winning actor driving a Lincoln MKC, using his signature brand of musing aloud about situations in his unique Southern drawl.
In the ad, McConaughey comes face-to-face with something unexpected on the otherwise empty road: a bull. While rubbing his fingers together, he muses, “1,800 pounds of whatever the heck I want. I can respect that. Take the long way, huh?” He pulls a U-turn and drives in the other direction, thanking the bull for helping him to find the scenic route.
The actor’s partnership with Lincoln led many fans to wonder: “Does Matthew McConaughey drive a Lincoln?”
In 2014, Lincoln premiered three new commercials featuring True Detective actor Matthew McConaughey in a campaign they called, “Live in Your Moment.” In one, McConaughey talks to himself while driving down an open desert road. He says:
I’ve been driving a Lincoln since long before anybody paid me to drive one. I didn’t do it to be cool. I didn’t do it to make a statement. I just liked it.”
Since the 2014 ad premiered, McConaughey has appeared in other Lincoln ads, including a 2017 ad in which McConaughey appears in the backseat of his own vehicle. A common theme is McConaughey discussing his love of the brand, regardless of whether he’s being paid to promote. But is this all an act?
McConaughey has won several awards for his acting, so you might assume that his script in these Lincoln ads is entirely fictional. However, McConaughey is indeed known for his love of Lincoln vehicles, and has been an enthusiast since well before his 2014 ads first premiered.
In the film The Lincoln Lawyer, Matthew McConaughey played a character who drove a 1986 Lincoln Town Car. McConaughey loved how it drove, so he went out and purchased his own and one for his wife. And he’s been a fan of the vehicle ever since. In 2017, he purchased a 2017 Lincoln MKX. While he appeared in ads for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator, it’s unclear whether he has since upgraded and purchased one of his own.
McConaughey’s commercials can seem a bit strange to those unfamiliar with McConaughey’s work and persona. The commercials feature the actor talking to himself and making strange hand gestures, which led to parody versions of the commercial by Ellen Degeneres, Jim Carey (for Saturday Night Live) and others. But this has only helped to continue to boost brand recognition. In fact, McConaughey embraced the parodies, appearing on talk shows to discuss how much he enjoyed them, which endeared fans.
Ford (Lincoln’s parent brand) reported that sales skyrocketed after the premiere of the first batch of McConaughey’s ads. Within a month of the commercials going live, sales were up by 25%.
McConaughey has changed the game for the car company, which has seen sales increase since the actor became involved in their ad campaigns. And the best part is that this isn’t all an act. McConaughey truly loves Lincoln and drives one of his own, as does his wife. While his ads have inspired many parodies, there’s no doubt that McConaughey’s love of Lincoln has helped to grow the brand. He is an extraordinary brand ambassador.
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