Anchorman Gets Anchorfans

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Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was released in 2004. Introducing a post-Saturday Night Live Will Ferrell (As Ron Burgundy), the film pioneered a new go-to method of “improve-heavy style,” where dozens of the same takes were filmed using different dialogue. While not initially scoring high in theaters, Anchorman‘s crazy comedy eventually captured the attention of fans. The film’s DVD sold more than six million copies, and fake newsman Ron Burgundy became a cultural icon.

In 2012, social media had taken over. Anchorman had already earned its place on Facebook, where posts with favorite quotes and scenes reminded fans of the cable staple. With other social media surfacing the web, Paramount Pictures pounced on the opportunity to produce a sequel. Thus, a social marketing strategy for Anchorman: The Legend Continues was in full force.

This Just In: Burgundy is Back
Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 2.09.47 PMFor the promotion of the Anchorman sequel, fictional character Ron Burgundy advertised himself. Working simultaneously with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Youtube, Burgundy (Will Ferrell) began the campaign by appearing on Conan to make an announcement about the second movie. The video was displayed on Youtube, and shared by official Anchorman accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Google. Burgundy didn’t pause once in attempting to make his return known.
Among other things, Burgundy posted and shared numerous Youtube videos with holiday messages, opinions and rants, songs, and even funny global discussions. In one particular video, Ron Burgundy congratulates Irish actor Jamie Dornan for scoring the lead role in the upcoming thriller Fifty Shades of Grey. He assumes the movie is a documentary about Ireland and its different shades of overcast skies.


This Just In: Ron Burgundy Takes Over The World (Of Social Media)
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As already stated, Facebook, Youtube, Google+, and Twitter were used in order to post recent trailers and funny videos. However, Paramount Pictures assured that these mediums stretched beyond typical promotion.
These social media sites were used for everything from displaying Ben & Jerry’s new Anchorman ice cream flavor (Scotchy Scotch Scotch), to showing off a new Anchorman: Exhibit opening at Washington D.C.’s Newseum. The exhibit featured props, costumes and footage from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Viewers could share their experiences by tweeting with the hashtag #stayclassynewseum.


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Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 3.14.07 PMParamount also made sure to give Burgundy personality in his posts, by posting along with fans about trending news, or sharing personal opinions.

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This Just In: Interactivity Goes a Long Way
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Paramount, in partnership with Tumblr, opened the door to an interactive world of meme creation. Letting fans do the art, they could chose a photo and create a funny line from Anchorman to go with it.
Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 3.12.10 PMBy allowing the creation of User-Generated GIFs, Paramount could create a framework, but fans could do the marketing for them.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 3.11.16 PMWorking with Zemoga, a digital agency, Paramount also created a social media-styled casting call. The so-called talent show, “Join Ron’s News Crew,” asked people from around the world to audition for the positions of anchor (#TeamRon), meteorologist (#TeamBrick), sportscaster (#TeamChamp) and live reporter (#TeamBrian). Bloggers could post videos of the screen tests and outtakes, tweeting them with the right hashtags.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 3.21.15 PMAnother competition, through Instagram, was called I Am Ron Burgundy. Fans could post audition videos imitating Ron Burgundy, with the hashtag #IAmRonBurgundy. Winners could walk the red carpet at the Anchorman 2 premiere in New York City.

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Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 3.20.13 PMOther interactive marketing tactics involved a fake online petition to “Make Rushmore Classy,” a Valentines Day ECard creator to share with friends, a cast question and answer Facebook Newsroom, and opportunities to post Anchorman related events onto social media platforms.
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This Just In: Social Gaming Continues the Anchorman Frenzy
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Paramount Pictures was up-to-date with the increasing popularity of mobile and social gaming. Mustache Maker allows users to add a mustache to their pictures, and share their creation with friends or on social media. Scotch Toss, a mobile game via comedy site Funny or Die enabled for social-sharing, features 300 voiceovers by Ferrell, who, as Burgundy, tells players to flick ice cubes into his scotch.
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7 comments

  1. Being a huge “Anchorman” fan, I loved reading this post! I am also a huge fan of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, so I found it so clever that Paramount teamed up with them to make their own limited edition of ice cream with Ron Burgundy on the label. Since “Anchorman” is a genius comedy, it’s very appropriate that they marketed a social game called the mustache maker. The posts of people dressing up as the “Anchorman” cast are very entertaining, and give people another reason to connect on social media. Awesome visuals and examples!

    1. Thanks so much! I love the Ben and Jerry’s icecream, I think that’s probably my favorite part about the entire promotion. I also really like the Mt. Everest website–I’m really fascinated by a film company’s ability to think outside the box and create their own type of social media. Thanks for the comment!

  2. It’s crazy to see how much Anchorman had already become a part of social media culture even before the second film came out. Just as you pointed out, the film wasted no time in reclaiming its online presence. I mostly enjoyed how they directly implemented the characters into social media, making Ron Burgundy his own facebook and twitter accounts and having Will Ferrel appear on talk shows as Ron Burgundy. I think Anchorman’s campaign is an excellent example of how people really want to 1.) interact with the brand/campaign, but even more so 2.) interact with each other about the campaign. I think this second point is much more prevalent when the campaign involves comedy, since people want to share funny content with their friends.

  3. My favorite parts were the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and the Anchorman fan pictures on Facebook. I love that Anchorman created an ice cream flavor. I remember that got my attention! I also think it was smart for them to gather photos from fans who dressed up like the characters. People love dressing up as Ron Burgundy for Halloween so that was a smart move. Unfortunately I saw the Anchorman II and didn’t think it was that great! But there were some funny parts, for sure!!

    1. I loved the icecream flavor too! I agree with you, but it did get ALOT of people watching whether they liked the movie or not! I remember my friends telling me it was not as good as the first movie, but I wanted to see it anyway just because of the commercials and advertising for it. It’s funny how this can overpower friends’ opinions sometimes. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Great use of media in here, you have a lot of videos and pictures this is wonderful! Going as far as the ice cream flavor is huge. I’m a huge fan of Anchorman and Will Ferrell, I think Ron Burgundy has definitely become iconic with a huge help from social media. Giving personality to his twitter is genius, I always see Ron Burgundy retweets on my own timeline. Great example of a movie that has turned out extremely successful from the use of social media!

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