Video: Looking Back As Ed Sullivan Introduces The 1957 Lincoln

For many years The Ed Sullivan Show was sponsored by Ford Motor Company, which resulted in some great debuts for multiple vehicles. Sullivan was a household name thanks to his variety show that featured countless celebrities over the years. The show had historic rock ‘n’ roll performances by The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Rolling Stones and The Doors; sensational Motown acts by The Jackson 5, Supremes and Temptations; hilarious stand-up comedy acts by Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, George Carlin and Carol Burnett. Everyone tuned in weekly from 1948 until 1971 to see the legendary host present the latest groundbreaking acts.

So, it seemed like a natural fit for Sullivan to pitch Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury products during this partnership. In 1957, Sullivan along with Julia Meade introduced the new Lincoln. Meade had history working with Ford Motor Company as the star of many Lincoln live advertisements. Meade worked on The Ed Sullivan Show promoting a host of live advertisements, and it was a perfect match for the introduction of the 1957 Lincoln. Her beauty and on stage presence allowed her grab the attention of the audience as she described all of the features of the vehicle.

Images Captured From YouTube user US Auto Industry - Both Ed Sullivan and Julia Meade were known for their live advertisements for the Ford Motor Company. Meade worked primarily with Lincoln vehicles, but was also responsible for other live advertisements on The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan was known for reading live advertisements on his show thanks to sponsorship of the Ford Motor Company.

As the lights come up in this vintage video clip, the new Lincoln comes into focus and Meade begins to describe the benefits of this luxury vehicle. One of the major features of the 1957 Lincoln was the addition of quad headlights along with a host other creature comforts. With 6-way adjustable power seats, a door lock button, and power side vent windows, this car had many modern features that are common now, but were certain to attract the curiosity of viewers in 1957. Many of the iconic Lincoln features were mentioned during the then live advertisement, but the combination of Meade and Sullivan lead to the success of this pitch.

Although live commercials are a thing of the past, the relationship between auto manufacturers and celebrities remains strong. For example,  look at the latest Lincoln commercials with Matthew McConaughey as the spokesman. What was once old is new once again, just as Ford brings back the Lincoln Continental to its luxury lineup of vehicles.

Images Captured From YouTube User US Auto Industry - Meade described the features of the 1957 Lincoln, such as the sleek lines of the car along with the iconic pyramid taillights.

Product placement is old concept and Ford Motor Company has been successfully using the strategy for decades. Whether on a classic television show or in the relatively modern era; ever notice the sheer number of Ford vehicles in American Idol or Fringe? Pairing television networks and auto manufacturers has been successful for both entities in the past as well as now.

Eventually, even the McConaughey Lincoln mashup will appear dated just as the Sullivan-Meade-Lincoln trio. Once that happens it will be time to revisit the good old days of television and automotive advertising.

Images Captured From YouTube User US Auto Industry

Images Captured From YouTube User US Auto Industry – The addition of quad headlights was a new feature for the 1957 Lincoln.

About the author

Lauren Camille

Lauren is a graduate of California State University Fullerton, and has experience working for several enthusiast publications. She enjoys drag racing, classic Fords, and vintage Lincolns. She currently races a 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback, and has a soft spot for 1960’s Lincolns. Currently, her collection includes: ’04 Cobra Convertible, ’65 Mustang Fastback, ’04 F350 6.0 diesel, ’96 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a ’87 Jeep Wrangler. She provides insightful content as a freelance writer for Power Automedia.
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