Online ad buy would make Mad Men’s Roger Sterling proud

“It’s not luxury; it’s smarter than that.”

So says John Slattery, Lincoln‘s new hired gun spokesperson in the car manufacturer’s “Smarter” campaign.

sterlingSlattery, who plays advertising executive Roger Sterling in TV’s “Mad Men,” would be proud of his new employer’s latest online advertising move.

While surfing the New York Times website, I came across the below ‘splash page’ informing me that Lincoln was sponsoring two weeks of free access to the Times’ online technology section (October 17-30).

It’s a genious move. For starters, Lincoln is making a not-so-subtle overture to tech-savvy (read: smart) consumers by aligning itself with the NY Times — and specifically, the tech section. Beyond that, Lincoln is gaining valuable face time in front of its core audience: well educated readers who may be open to the idea of ditching their BMW or Lexus in favor of a luxury ‘Made in the USA’ alternative.

Lastly, by marketing this as ‘free entry’ to otherwise costly content, Lincoln is sending a message that it is literally paying for users’ access when in all likelihood, this is a simple ad buy that was negotiated with the Times’ advertising department on the back end.

Kudos to Lincoln for a job well done. It’s not just an ad buy; it’s smarter than that.