Mercury Launches 2002 Mountaineer With Urban Marketing Campaign

             TV Campaign Breaks on Network Television on April 16

    IRVINE, Calif., March 29 In a bold departure from
traditional SUV advertising, Mercury today unveiled its marketing campaign for
the new 2002 Mountaineer, a vehicle poised to define the future of the Mercury
brand.  The campaign is supported by a high impact media schedule -- including
May network sweeps and season finales -- kicking off April 16 on shows
including Boston Public and Ally McBeal.

    The integrated campaign, which includes television, print, Internet,
direct and event marketing, is designed to communicate the urban functionality
of the 2002 Mountaineer.  This vehicle, with a leading edge, contemporary
design, was directly shaped by the busy, demanding lives of its customers.  It
was inspired by the "world we live in" and the "the roads we travel most."

    "We really identified a new mindset for the SUV category," said Deborah
Wahl, marketing communications manager for Lincoln Mercury.  "Our target
customers want something more out of their SUV.  These are individualists who
want a vehicle reflecting their lifestyles and providing innovative solutions
to their everyday needs."

    The launch began with a 12-page insert in select publications such as Bon
Appetit, Fast Company and Talk magazines.  The insert was designed to
establish the positioning of the Mountaineer: urban and sophisticated.
Showing the vehicle among beautiful city icons, the insert closes by stating
that "The SUV built for here ... is here."

    Following the insert, which broke in April issues, Mercury used four
feature print ads to continue the urban positioning while highlighting product
attributes.  The creative presents the 2002 Mountaineer as an elegant
extension of the environment we live in.  For example, one ad titled "Strength
Lives Here" positions the Mountaineer against a powerful backdrop of the
Brooklyn Bridge, and addresses the vehicle's powerful 239-horsepower, V-8
engine.

    Three television spots will hit the networks beginning on April 16, making
a powerful impact on shows such as Boston Public, Ally McBeal, Once & Again,
Will & Grace, West Wing, Law & Order and Spin City.  Three additional spots
will be released at the end of April.

    "We decided to go heavy on prime time television, not only because of the
audience, but because it reaffirms Mercury's commitment to the Mountaineer and
to the brand," added Wahl.

    The campaign was developed by John Doyle, Executive Creative Director for
Y&R Advertising, Irvine.  This represents Doyle's first work for Lincoln
Mercury since joining Y&R in September 2000.

    "In this category it's difficult to create communication that is
distinctive," said Doyle.  "I think the positioning and the execution of the
new Mountaineer work finds such distinction."

    The spots highlight the urban design of the vehicle as well as features
such as side curtain air bags, third row seat and independent rear suspension.
For example, the spot "Safe Journey" takes the 2002 Mountaineer on a journey
through a city and, through powerful urban metaphors such as iron gates
closing and welders welding steel beams together, communicates the safety and
strength of the vehicle.  The spot leaves the viewer with the message that the
2002 Mountaineer was "Thoughtfully designed with your safety and security in
mind.  Because the roads you travel most are likely the same roads traveled by
everyone else."

    The music in the television spots was scored by Mark Isham, one of the
most sought after composers in Hollywood.  Isham's moving mix of jazz, new age
and classical sound add a unique inspirational feel to the spots.
    

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