Magic's Back in the Ad Game
Magic Johnson has entered into a spokesperson deal with Ford Motor Company
Ford's Lincoln and Mercury units have signed basketball Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson as its new spokesperson. The multi-year deal will include national broadcast and print ads. Financial terms were not revealed.
Magic will appear in ads for '04 model year vehicles, starting late this year. Young & Rubicam, Dearborn, Mich., will be the lead agency overseeing the partnership, but UniWorld, New York, Lincoln Mercury's African American AOR, will create the first advertising. Ford spent $146 million on media for its Lincoln banner in 2002, per TNS/CMR.
Johnson will principally support Lincoln vehicles, rather than the Mercury lineup in advertising. Darryl Hazel, president of Lincoln Mercury, said Johnson was chosen because, "He's an icon of American culture. He appeals to a wide range of people." Hazel said Lincoln Mercury isn't using Johnson merely as a promotional image. "It's a true partnership," he said, adding that Johnson has expressed interest in buying into some dealerships as well. "It's being explored," he said.