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Lincoln's two Super Bowl ads are not created equal

SportsFootballManufacturing and EngineeringJimmy FallonAutomotive EquipmentKaley Cuoco Abraham Lincoln

One of Lincoln's two Super Bowl commercials airing on Sunday involves Jimmy Fallon, Rev. Run of Run-DMC, viewer-generated tweets, Emmitt Smith and Wil Wheaton.

One does not. And that's the good one.

The first ad is the result of a much-publicized campaign the automaker undertook in collaboration with comedian and late-night host Fallon. Dubbed SteerTheScript, Fallon's Twitter followers were asked to submit stories from their most memorable road trips.

More than 6,000 tweets were submitted, Lincoln said. Fallon then used the best of these to form a script for both a 30-second ad for the Super Bowl and a longer, 90-second version available online.

Unfortunately, the spot looks to have been conceived by too many backseat drivers. The forgettable ad features a woman on a road trip who picks up a German hitchhiker on her way to a wedding. The pair find themselves in several mundane situations, with the all-new Lincoln MKZ playing only a bit part.

This storyline comes up rather vanilla when compared with the more edgy or fun Super Bowl ads from other automakers. These include Mercedes-Benz's spot with Kate Upton and Usher, Volkswagen's "Get Happy" ads and Hyundai's day of fun with the family and the Flaming Lips. Even Toyota's spots with "The Big Bang Theory's" Kaley Cuoco have more bite.

Lincoln's second ad, with no recognizable faces or gimmicks, is by far the better of the two. It reflects the class and sophistication Lincoln desperately needs to attach to its brand and its products. It even features a brief glimpse of a likeness of President Lincoln, for whatever that's worth.

Thus, $3.8 million of Lincoln's money looks to be well-spent, while another $3.8 million is questionable. That's the average price to air a 30-second commercial during Sunday's Super Bowl, up 7% increase from last year.

With so much money at stake, it turns out Lincoln was better off steering its own script.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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SportsFootballManufacturing and EngineeringJimmy FallonAutomotive EquipmentKaley Cuoco Abraham Lincoln
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