Mercury, which is pitching its Milan sedan and Mariner and Mariner Hybrid crossovers to younger consumers, rolled out the vehicles Monday night as part of its sponsorship of a style award hosted by Elle. The relationship includes putting the vehicles in fashion store Henri Bendel.
Mercury also had a "style lounge" at Bryant Park, the venue for the yearly Fashion confab. Mercury, who counts former Donna Karan designer Anthony Prozzi among its vehicle interior designers, hosted the Mercury Style Lounge during Fashion Week.
The company Monday night culminated its presence at the show with the presentation of the Mercury Style Award, which proffers honors on a new designer whose style Ford says aligns with its Mercury-brand style.
Mercury designers, earlier in the year, chose three finalists for the award with the public voting for the winner via text messages and online voting at elle.com/mariner. Thomais Zaremba, Lincoln Mercury marketing communications manager, says Mercury got 54,000 consumer votes.
Mercury has promoted its new-designer activity around Fashion Week with parties, events and a spread in American Photo magazine that featured Mercury vehicles and the winning designs from one of the three designers, Nili Lotan, who received the most votes at Elle.com.
Mercury also has an advertising push for Mariner on taxi cabs plying the city this week. Also, on Monday night, Mercury vehicles were on display at Henri Bendel, and last night at Fashion Week after parties.
Zaremba says the tie-in with Elle is meant to appeal to a younger, mostly female buyer for vehicles like Milan and Mariner. "I think both Mariner and Milan are great for a design-savvy environment," she says, adding that the fashion marketing effort is one of several efforts meant to target sales by active lifestyle targets "as it relates to 'discovery of self' around fashion, yoga, and cuisine. Those are the three Mercury key passion points."
She says the Mariner, in particular, has brought in more younger buyers than Mercury has ever seen, as well as a higher level of conquest buyers.
Zaremba says the company, which has not decided whether to reprise next year, has just completed the launch of Mariner and is preparing for a major integrated campaign for the new Sable, based on the resurrected Taurus.