Move Over, McConaughey: Serena Williams Stars in New Lincoln Campaign

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Matthew McConaughey will no longer be driving solo as Lincoln's celebrity endorser. The Ford-owned luxury brand has added tennis superstar Serena Williams to its roster, just as the new mother hits the court again.

Williams and McConaughey won't be appearing together. Instead, Williams will be used solely on social media in a campaign breaking this week for the Navigator SUV. The effort, which includes videos declaring that "a champion always returns," is by Cycle, the content studio run by Laundry Service. The Wasserman-owned New York-based shop picked up the assignment late last year.

McConaughey has regularly appeared in Lincoln TV ads by the brand's lead agency, WPP's Hudson Rouge. Lincoln is banking on Williams to help it win over women, including mothers, as she makes her way back into competitive tennis less than seven months after the Sept. 1 birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia.

"She's a new mom, she's an entrepreneur. There are all these qualities about her and her life that match so well that the audience we are trying to talk to on Navigator," says John Emmert, group marketing manager for the Lincoln Motor Co.

The campaign comes two years after Williams backed another car brand, BMW-owned Mini, which used her in a star-filled Super Bowl ad in 2016. Lincoln's campaign plays up Williams' early allegiance to the Ford-owned luxury brand. One of the videos shows her describing how she first drove a Lincoln at age 18 or 19, when she named the all-white vehicle "Ginger." "I felt like I was kind of balling in a way, it was like my first huge purchase," she says in the spot.

Five-month-old Alexis Olympia was in attendance for her mom's doubles match Sunday when she teamed with sister Venus Williams at the Fed Cup in North Carolina. The sisters lost the match, but it was a low-pressure return since the U.S. had already clinched victory in the team event against the Netherlands. The stakes will be higher in early March when Williams is expected to play in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.

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