Ron Burgundy Changing Movie Marketing

By: Gina Mason

If you haven’t seen Ron Burgundy, you have been living under a rock. The infamous fictional anchorman known for his pompous attitude, chauvinistic tendencies, ridiculous rhetoric and mostly importantly, his signature mustache and suit has been taking over the world (or so it seems). Played by comedian Will Ferrell, Ron Burgundy is no longer just a character on the silver screen. The man, the myth, the legend is now a brand that has completely changed the way movies are marketed. Prior to the release of  the sequel, “Anchorman: The Legend ContinuesWill Ferrell promoted the movie in a number of unconventional ways, all while staying in character as Ron Burgundy (an impressive feat in itself).  

Here are some of the publicity stunts that Ron Burgundy has been involved with over the last three months.

Driving Advertising Campaigns

In October, Chrysler allowed Ron Burgundy to get behind the driver’s seat of a Dodge Durango and steer its advertising campaign. The witty commercials, most of which were released on YouTube, incorporated Burgundy’s odd humor and time-warped misunderstanding of the Durango’s new technology. One commercial includes Burgundy driving around in a Durango, mystified by the car’s advanced UConnect system. When the UConnect system asked him a question he exclaimed, “there’ s a woman stuck in there! Don’t worry, I’ll free you!”

Although all 70 commercials seem to focus more on Burgundy rather than the car, according to a recent report Chrysler sales have been up nearly 40% since the ads were aired. Traffic to the website has been up 80% and the videos on YouTube have generated over 21 million views. However, these commercials were just the beginning of his shenanigans.

The Real Anchorman Comes to Life

What does Ron Burgundy do best? His job, of course! Recently, Burgundy surprised viewers from Bismarck, ND when he  co-anchored  Bismarck’s KXMB-TV evening news. During the live, 30 minute newscast he remained true to character and kept co-anchor, Amber Schatz on her toes. At one point during the broadcast he asked, “Amber, you look lovely tonight, are you married?…Well, I am, so don’t get any ideas.”

Burgundy was also schedule to be a co-host of SportsCenter, but due to more pressing news his broadcast was cancelled. However, ESPN did leak his prerecorded interview with Denver Broncos’ quarterback, Peyton Manning shortly after his appearance was cancelled. The hilarious exchange included Burgundy telling arguably the best player in the game that he looks like a baby lamb because he doesn’t have facial hair. “You’re running around out there, and I’m gonna be honest with you: You look like a succulent baby lamb. Let’s face it, all the great NFL quarterbacks had mustaches.”

Also, Burgundy made appearances on the European Music Awards (where he defended Miley Cyrus), the Canadian Curling Olympic trials, Conan (where he defended Rob Ford) and the Dan Patrick Show to name a few. Talk about a great way to promote the movie to different demographics!

More Than Your Average T-Shirt

Thanks to Ron Burgundy, no more are the days where movie merchandise consists of simple posters, t-shirts and action figures. This marketing plan included an usual array of products that added to the awareness and value of the Burgundy brand.

For those of you who don’t know, Ron Burgundy loves scotch. To incorporate this love for scotch, Rivera Imports created  a scotch line titled Ron Burgundy’s “Great Odin’s Raven Special Reserve.”  In addition, Ben & Jerry’s joined in on the marketing madness and created a new flavor of ice cream for America’s favorite anchor titled “Ron Burgundy’s Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch” (from his ode to scotch in the first film).

Playing off the previous movie, Jockey took the opportunity to incorporate Burgundy’s self-proclaimed sex appeal into its men’s briefs by creating an Anchorman line. The packaging of the briefs included a photo Burgundy in a suggestive pose and his arrogant quote “don’t act like you’re not impressed.”

Lastly, Burgundy released a fictional memoir and did a book tour for his book “Let Me Off at the Top!: My Classy Life and Other Musings.”

Where do we go from here?

This marketing campaign for “Anchorman: The Legend Continues” has been extremely unique and definitely sets the bar for movies to come. Although all of the Burgundy’s antics may seem ridiculous, director Adam McKay estimated that Burgundy has garnered at least $20 million dollars in free publicity for the film prior to the film’s release. Not to mention, all of the licensing revenue from all of the products that are now associated with the infamous anchor. Do you think this is the future for movie marketing?


Some marketing experts have argued that all of these appearances and products are going to overexpose fans and turn them off before they see the film. At this point, only time will tell and the weekend’s box office numbers will decide if the marketing campaign was a bust or a huge success. I will say that it is been impressive seeing Will Ferrell stay in character over the last three months. Kudos to him for his dedication to the movie!

What do you think of the Anchorman marketing campaign? Are you sick of Ron Burgundy or excited for his return?

I leave you with Ron Burgundy’s closing line, “you stay classy, San Diego.”

As always, if you like what you read be social and share. 

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