If you don’t recognise the above name, or simply haven’t invested the time it takes to watch Will Ferrell’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, then you are beyond my help. The film ranks amongst the most quotable of all time.
After almost a decade, the next instalment of the franchise is soon to grace the silver screen. In the build up to the film, the promotional team have gone all out in a marketing campaign designed to get the Ron Burgundy character in front of as many people as possible in a bid for brand awareness.
His appearances are almost guerrilla marketing in nature, completely unannounced and totally non sequitur in their nature. The rationale for the appearances is clear: get people talking about Anchorman again. But there’s a genius dual value proposition for the various brands that give the green light for Burgundy to bomb them.
Ron Burgundy was the original old spice guy. He pioneered the persona that has now been modelled and replicated across numerous advertising campaigns. It’s a formula that works, the self-aware machismo creating a charisma that is magnetic but most importantly, quotable.
Ron Burgundy is selling through a very distinct kind of association, one that’s almost more effective than using straight faced celebrity brand ambassadors. If Ron Burgandy is anything, he is quotable, and by loaning his voice and words to actual non-fictional organisations he positions those brands to attain a kind of “quote-ability” all of their own. These quotes spread across social media and simply across social situations in real life, growing brand awareness.
At the same time, Will Ferrel is further promoting the Ron Burgundy brand, enforcing the fundamental comedic ideas behind that the character is someone who would have no hesitation towards selling out, simply to remain in the spotlight. The promotional team wins, because by attaching Will Ferrel to existing commercials and media products, they maximise exposure for the film without needing to increase their investment in advertising.