Can the Lincoln brand be saved?

Alan Middleton is beaming as he sits behind the wheel of the MKS, Lincoln’s new luxury flagship sedan, wrote the National Post Aug. 18. Middleton, who is executive director of the Schulich Executive Education Centre (and a lifelong Jaguar fan) loves the peppy acceleration and he’s impressed by how the car takes corners. And he raves about the sleek looks, both inside and out (although he does wish it had more of a Jaguar-esque wooden dashboard).

Alas, Ford’s biggest dilemma remains how Lincoln is perceived – especially when it comes to young, upwardly mobile luxury car buyers. How can Ford change brand perceptions?

Middleton says he’s not only sold on the product but he’s very impressed with Lincoln’s TV ads. The spots boast superb production values and flaunt the technological attributes of the new Lincolns.

As well, the TV ads steer clear of clichéd claptrap such as the use of classical music. Instead, the spot for the MKZ features Peter Shilling’s Major Tom (as covered by Shiny Toy Guns) while the MKS ad features David Bowie’s Space Oddity (as covered by Cat Power).

“They’re really on the right path here,” says Middleton, noting these songs are relevant to the baby boomer generation Lincoln is trying so hard to woo. Still, Middleton contends that to break through, Ford must borrow a technique from the packaged goods industry: “Don’t tell me, show me.” He says Ford should identify would-be luxury car buyers and give them a Lincoln to test drive for a weekend. “This is actually how luxury cars are marketed and sold in Japan,” he says.

Recession is bad for your health

Recessions are always bad for health, says Professor Dennis Raphael of York’s School of Health Policy & Management in the Faculty of Health. Raphael was interviewed Aug. 17 on CBC TV’s “The National” in connection with a newly released study. When you have no money, you begin to worry, said Raphael. You begin to worry about losing your home. You begin to worry about having enough money for food, and you’re not able to do the kinds of things that most people think they should be able to do.

Tennis stars take to Toronto’s streets – and York’s Keele campus

Game, set, traffic jam, wrote The Toronto Sun Aug. 18. While it’s not unusual for gridlock on Yonge Street, it’s not always for a match between two of the world’s best tennis players. That’s what happened yesterday when Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki, both contenders in this week’s Rogers Cup, squared off in a friendly noon-hour street match at Yonge and Dundas streets. The Rogers Cup wraps up this weekend at York University’s Keele campus.

  • Numerous radio and television stations carried coverage of the Rogers Cup, all mentioning that it is being held at York’s Keele campus.

On air

  • Michael Jenkin, professor in York’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering in the Faculty of Science & Engineering, spoke about his amphibious robot research project on Discovery TV’s “Daily Planet" Aug. 17.
  • Martin Shadwick, research associate at the York Centre for International & Security Studies and course director in the Department of Political Science at Glendon, spoke about the prime minister’s visit to the Arctic on CBC Radio (St. John’s, Nfld.) Aug. 17.