Do you remember last year when Lincoln released a series of commercials featuring Matthew McConaughey aimlessly rambling about some bullshit tangentially related to actually driving a Lincoln? You should. They were everywhere and they were terrible. Hilariously terrible though. Much of the first season of True Detective was McConaughey spewing his bullshit while Woody Harrelson rolled his eyes. And True Detective was a huge hit. Lincoln was smart to try to recapture that magic.
We also got this great parody of the ad campaign starring Jim Carrey on Saturday Night Live.
Now, Lincoln and McConaughey have teamed up again for a new series of commercials. Have you seen them yet? If you watched the NFL this Sunday you did. They showed one of the commercials every break. Lincoln didn’t want to miss anybody.
Last year the ads were somewhat entertaining though. This year they are just grating. McConaughey doesn’t speak in either one. The highlight of last year’s ads was hearing McConaughey’s easy Texas accent speak nonsense. Now we get none of that. You pay an Oscar winning actor a tons of money to represent your brand and you don’t ask him to speak. What’s Lincoln thinking?
So what does happen in these ads. Well of course there’s shots of McConaughey driving a Lincoln. The car company wasn’t that dumb that they wouldn’t show the car they’re selling. One of the ads shows McConaughey getting ready to go out somewhere. He puts on his outfit that cost more than you make in a year (can’t forget the cufflinks) and heads out in his Lincoln to who knows where.
The next in the series shows McConaughey driving to his destination listening to some awful Jazz. Or it’s good jazz. I don’t fucking know. Either way, the point is that McConaughey is much cooler than you. He arrives at his destination, where a vinyl record is playing (cool!), and begins playing poker with an older black man and a lizard. The black guy throws down his hand; a full house, queens. Oh shit. The camera closes in on McConaughey. He cracks a smile and thinks to himself, “It’s alright, alright, alright”. He throws down a straight. The closing shot is McConaughey smiling as he drives home from taking that poor black man’s money. What an asshole.
As bad as these commercials are for Lincoln, I have to wonder why McConaughey is even doing these. Money might be one reason, but doesn’t he make enough from acting? These commercials make him look like a joke. I was an early follower of the McConaissance, as I’ve noted before. I’d like to quickly plug one of the first movies of the McConaissance, Bernie, which is on Netflix. Not too many people have seen it but it’s really good. I’m honestly a big McConaughey fan.
Back to these commercials. This has to hurt McConaughey, who has made nothing but gold since 2011’s The Lincoln Lawyer. Wait, the Lincoln Lawyer? McConaughey plays a lawyer who lives in a Lincoln in that movie. It all makes sense now. Does he feel he owes something back to the car company for helping turn his career around? That’s the only explanation.