The serious PR push to make Ron Burgundy's legend continue

Will Ferrell, as character Ron Burgundy, signing for 'Let Me Off At The Top: My Classy Life And Other Musings' at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on November 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

Fake newsman Ron Burgundy (played by actor Will Ferrell) is waging a PR blitz for his new movie “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” The sexist anchor with the 70s ‘stache is hawking Dodge Durangos. He anchored a real-life newscast in North Dakota last weekend. And today, Emerson College is renaming one of its schools the “Ron Burgundy School of Communication” for a day.

So what’s with all the hype?

The first “Anchorman” movie did okay, but grossed less than $100 million. Ron Burgundy, though, developed a cult following. Now you’ll find him promoting the Dodge Durango. Or at least, its glovebox.

“Comfortably fits two turkey sandwiches,” Burgundy cries, “Uhhh, six ball peen hammers. Seventy packs of gum!”

Keith Simanton, managing editor of IMDb, says it was different when a character like James Bond used to appear in commercials.

“He’s driving a certain car or he’s drinking a certain beer,” Simanton says. “But he’s not making fun of driving that car or drinking that beer. Plus, also, Burgundy’s an idiot.”

“This kind of advertising is anti-advertising, but it really works,” says Porter Bibb, managing partner at Mediatech Capital.

Bibb says Ron Burgundy as anti-spokesman is genius because promotion is all about social media now. The antics of a buffoon are highly contagious on our phones. Bibb expects the “Anchorman” sequel will do much better than the original, precisely because Ron Burgundy can’t stay classy.

About the author

Kate Davidson is a regular contributor to Marketplace.

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