Daily Insights

Hunting for Success on Instagram Stories

By: Megan McVay | Mar 21, 2019

Leveraging their fast-car allure, luxury and ultra-luxury auto brands are perennial top performers on social. However, premium brand Lincoln stands out for using Instagram Stories to drive growth. 

Thanks to a streetwise digital marketing campaign, the brand’s social score in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Auto US zoomed up by 19 percentage points year over year.  

To celebrate its 80th anniversary, Lincoln launched a limited-edition Continental with iconic center-opening coach doors, paying homage to its classic 1961 model. While the coach doors harken back to the pre-war era (and to Entourage), the interior is updated with the latest infotainment, navigation, audio, and driver assistance technology.


To curate the car launch, Lincoln enlisted Simon Doonan, an art director and tastemaker renowned for his window-dressing work at Barney’s. Doonan not only designed physical installations at the launch event, but also became the face of the initiative in the digital realm. To spread awareness and encourage participation in the launch, he hosted a scavenger hunt on Lincoln’s Instagram account. If you found one of the nine Lincoln car keys hidden in New York City, you scored an invite to the launch party.

In addition to creating the hunt, the brand encouraged participants to post about the experience on Instagram. These posts were incorporated into a Story that was later permanently archived on the brand’s account. Lincoln also cross-promoted the scavenger hunt on Facebook and Twitter, instructing users to visit its Instagram feed to participate.

Although the limited run of these new Continentals will unlikely impact flagging Continental sales figures, the brand stands to benefit from the attention the launch may bring to the rest of its lineup. Lincoln’s campaign illustrates the efficacy of Instagram and particularly Instagram Stories in bringing live events to life, as well as the importance of creating a cohesive social strategy across platforms.

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