You Stay Classy, Social Media
Ever since Ron Burgundy crashed Conan O’Brien’s studio last year to announce the “Anchorman” sequel, momentum has been building in the social world in anticipation of the reunion of the “Channel 4 News Team.” Paramount Studios has heard the buzz and answered it with a social blitz unseen by most films. And with today’s release of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” the hype just continues to grow.
Part of the success of “Anchorman” yields from the love of the main character, Ron Burgundy. Say what you will about the most ignorant broadcaster in San Diego but, as he puts it, he is kind of a big deal. His status has reached that cult following that many classic entertainment properties garner. Before social media, these followings always stayed “underground.” Now with social media, fans are able to connect around the world and grow at an exponential rate.
“Anchorman”/Paramount capitalized on the character’s popularity and teleported him from the 1970’s to the present – having him provide commentary on a curling match, advertising for “Yodge” trucks, dissing said “Yodge” trucks, hosting a local newscast and so on. It’s a walking “ad” for the new movie, yet it’s an ad you actually want to watch. You want to watch curling to see what Burgundy might say (hopefully no one messes with the teleprompter.) It’s an ad that you can’t turn away from and won’t skip through.
Thanks to YouTube and word of mouth, the truly amazing part of each of these activations is that they can go viral faster than a Ron Burgundy Cannonball. In the old days, guest hosting a newscast in North Dakota would be seen as a tremendous waste of resources. In today’s world, “Ron” can do it and be viewed by the entire world the very next day. What a PR opportunity for not only “Anchorman” but the local station itself.
What’s unique about “Anchorman 2” that nearly ten years have passed since the first film. The original came out before Facebook or Twitter existed. Now it’s unfathomable to think about life without these platforms. “Anchorman” is the rare film franchise that has properties in both worlds – and what a difference we’ve seen between both.
Unfortunately, it’s not a formula that every film can capitalize on. You won’t see Batman competing in a UFC fight before the release of the next film. Katniss Everdeen won’t be competing in the Olympics for archery. Ron Burgundy, though, has the perfect platform for marketing his role because the character can be smoothly integrated into practically anything including out-of-the-box ideas like an appearance on SportsCenter. His cult following has people who want to see him in the real world.
Hats off to the social team at Paramount. The film was already one of the most anticipated of 2013.