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Lincoln dresses up new ads in 'casual luxury'

By TIMES WIRES
Published January 12, 2007


Many marketers rely on hip-hop and bling to appeal to black consumers. Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln luxury brand is taking a different approach: Lincoln has chosen Amsale Aberra, a 52-year-old couture wedding gown designer - and a native of Ethiopia - for a commercial to introduce the MKX, Lincoln's first entry in the compact crossover wagon market. The Amsale label is in the same league as Vera Wang, another high-end wedding gown brand. Lincoln also hopes Aberra and her story will appeal to whites and other ethnicities. Since the late 1990s, Lincoln has struggled to find a consistent new look for its vehicles and a powerful, new advertising hook. Now, Lincoln executives say they see an opportunity in carving out a position as an approachable and casual luxury brand. This is in contrast to DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes-Benz, which Lincoln labels as "Old World" luxury, and General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac brand, which Lincoln calls "Money-is-Everything" luxury.

In Portugal, other Bud will have to do

Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest brewer, lost a last-ditch attempt at the European Court of Human Rights to own the rights to the "Budweiser" trademark in Portugal. The court in Strasbourg, France, on Thursday rejected Anheuser-Busch's argument by 15 votes to two that its right to the name had been infringed under the European Convention of Human Rights. The decision upholds an earlier decision by Portugal's Supreme Court. The case pits Anheuser-Busch against Czech rival Budejovicky Budvar, which translates as "Budweis" in German. The brewer argues it owns the traditional rights to the name because its brewers have been using the name for hundreds of years. It is seeking "designation of origin" status across the EU, which protects products associated with a particular geographic region, such as French Bordeaux wine.

In Japan, PS3 losing game to Wii

Enterbrain, a Tokyo-based video game magazine publisher, released sales estimates in Japan on Wednesday that showed Sony fell far short of its goal of selling 1-million Play Station 3 consoles in Japan last year. Sony sold 534,336 units between their debut in Japan on Nov. 11 and Jan. 7, Enterbrain said. In contrast, Enterbrain reported that rival Nintendo sold 1.14-million units of its less expensive new game console, Wii, by the same date, despite going on sale three weeks after PlayStation. Microsoft's Xbox 360, which has had limited success breaking into the Japanese market, has sold 311,053 units since arriving in December 2005, Enterbrain said. Analysts said the figures added a note of caution to Sony's announcement over the weekend that it was on track to ship 6-million PS3s worldwide this year.