Matthew McConaughey is back in a new ad for the Lincoln MKZ hybrid sedan. Gone is the nighttime cityscape of Texas that he visited in a MKC SUV and the livestock that McConaughey may or may not have history with.

But the loopy monologue continues, as McConaughey now heavily bearded, wearing a snug leather jacket, and pondering the sprawl of Los Angeles in hazy daylight, someplace in the hills east of the Griffith Observatory prepares for a drive.

And some philosophy.

"It's not about huggin' trees...," he argues.

"It's not about being wasteful, either...," he continues.

Then, behind the wheel: "You just gotta find that balance where takin' care of yourself...takes care of more than...just yourself."

Finally, with the MKZ navigating my favorite freeway interchange in all of L.A. where the 105 connects to the 110 headed north toward downtown McConaughey brings is all home:

"That's the sweet spot."


These ads have always been deeply weird, but as they've been picked up and parodied by the globe's comedy elite Ellen, Conan, Jim Carrey they've created more buzz around the near-luxury Lincoln brand than the near-luxury Lincoln brand has ever enjoyed, even back when it was a true luxury brand. 

It's a bit jarring to see McConaughey not in a Lincoln SUV but behind the wheel of a big sedan (although in his "Lincoln Lawyer" role, he was down with a big Lincoln sedan, albeit an old, old big Lincoln sedan).

The loss of the Texas landscape, McConaughey's spiritual stomping ground, is also peculiar, but then again California is hybrid country even though it's quite possible that literally no one in Los Angeles has thought about buying a Lincoln since the 1960s. 

The jury's also out on the beard. 

But the bottom line is that McConaughey-Lincoln is easily the most productive and interesting brand-celebrity partnership in the history of the auto industry. At this point, it's pop-culture performance art.


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