Miss Teenage America Cougar

By the time the new Cougar was introduced to the public late in 1966, Lincoln-Mercury Division's Public Relations Department, managed by Gayle Warnock, had already planned a long list of promotional activities designed to keep the Cougar in the public eye. These activities were in addition to the extensive advertising blitz that would appear in magazines, newspapers and on television.

Now, more than 35 years later, we occasionally come across a piece of Cougarabilia that gives us a first hand look at one of L-M's promotional activities. In some cases these activities seem somewhat obscure, but when placed in historical perspective and seen as part of the overall campaign, they make perfect sense.

An interesting example of one introductory publicity program was Lincoln-Mercury's involvement in the 1967 Miss Teenage America pageant. A new 1967 Cougar was provided as the "Official Miss Teenage America Car" and, once Miss Teenage America had been crowned, she and the three other top finalists were appointed as "Spokesmen" for the Lincoln-Mercury National Youth Safety Program.

Of course, for a publicity program to generate publicity, you have to let people know about it. The information flier reproduced below was developed (we believe) by L-M's Public Relations Department as one way of letting people know that the Cougar was the official Miss Teenage America car, and thus placing yet another Cougar before the public eye.

The flier was printed on a single 8-1/2" x 11" sheet of paper and folded once, so the finished size is 8-1/2" x 5-1/2". It is interesting to note that the winner of the Miss Teenage America pageant in 1967 was from Milpitas, California, one of only two cities--out of hundreds across the country--in which Fords were manufactured at the time. (The "San Jose" Ford assembly plant was actually located in Milpitas.)


Cover of the inverted