By the beard of Zeus, unless you’ve been hiding in North Dakota lately, you’ve probably seen Ron Burgundy’s mustache-endowed mug splashed all over your various social news feeds.
As the promotional backbone of a fictional movie series that has been brought to real life in an explosion of media coverage, Burgundy represents more than just a blowhard anchorman from the 70s—he’s the face of the movie marketing revolution.
Even if you were hiding in North Dakota, you probably saw Burgundy on CBS affiliate KXMB’s Saturday evening news broadcast from Bismarck following the Alabama-Auburn football game. If you were in Canada, you may have seen him on TSN’s coverage of the Olympic curling trials in Winnipeg. If you missed both of those, fret not—you can still catch him in one of the 70 (yes, seventy) Dodge Durango commercial spots that he’s featured in, combining for tens of millions of views on YouTube.
The bottom line is this: he’s everywhere. And it’s all for the sake of a movie promotion.
Kind of a big deal
I don’t know how to put this… but he’s kind of a big deal. People know him. He has many leather-bound books and his apartment smells of rich mahogany. In fact, he’s so important that ESPN allowed him to conduct his own interview with Peyton Manning. What’s more, the interview is scheduled to be aired at 6 p.m. this evening on SportsCenter during a show hosted by Burgundy and his sportscaster-in-crime, Champ Kind.
A social campaign to end all social campaigns
The real-time news coverage and car commercials only scratch the surface of this movie’s massive promotional undertaking. Paramount, the production house for Anchorman 2, has employed a partnership with Tumblr to trickle tasty tidbits of Burgundy and his crew out into the social sphere, resulting in more than 50 videos, memes, GIFs, and the like.
Beyond that, the campaign entails native advertising on The Huffington Post, a partnership with CNN, and talent competition with celebrity judges. These are all supported by Burgundy’s enormous following across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and more hashtags than you can shake a stick at. Basically, it’s the social campaign to end all social campaigns.
The movie marketing revolution
When the first Anchorman movie was released in 2004, social media as we know it today didn’t exist. Facebook was some unknown college kid’s side project; Twitter and YouTube hadn’t been created yet. Since that time, the film industry has generally embraced social media, but never to the extent of the creative team behind Anchorman 2.
Ron Burgundy is a symbol of the future of movie marketing. With his voice that could make a wolverine purr and suits so fine, they make Sinatra look like a hobo, he’s reforming the way production studios will interact with their audiences prior to a movie’s release. No longer will alone trailer suffice—production teams will have to consider all content mediums, traditional and otherwise, to connect and build lasting relationships with potential customers. At the end of the day, it’s all about getting butts in seats when the movie debuts in the theaters. Thanks to Ron Burgundy, the bar has been raised. Movie marketing will never be the same again.
The self-proclaimed “discoverer of the wheel” and “builder of the Eiffel Tower” can now add another line to his resume: poster boy for the movie marketing revolution.
Don’t act like you’re not impressed.