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
For 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)
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.
Paramount also made sure to give Burgundy personality in his posts, by posting along with fans about trending news, or sharing personal opinions.
This Just In: Interactivity Goes a Long Way
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.
By allowing the creation of User-Generated GIFs, Paramount could create a framework, but fans could do the marketing for them.
Working 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.
Another 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.
Other 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.
This Just In: Social Gaming Continues the Anchorman Frenzy
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.