America’s Gone Burgundy

For a fake news anchor, Ron Burgundy sure gets a lot of work, doesn’t he?

Will Ferrell has been pimping Anchorman 2 like crazy, all in-character as Burgundy himself.  You’ve seen him peddling Dodges – which Ferrell does for free.  Today, Emerson College attracted the attention of transparent eyeballs everywhere by renaming their communications school after Burgundy for a day while Farrell bums around campus in costume.  Last week he showed up on a North Dakota newscast; tomorrow, he hosts SportsCenter with David Koechner.  (Whammy!)

Adweek posits that the Month of Burgundy will change how movies are promoted.  (That’s probably not true: not every movie could be promoted this way.  Martin Freeman will not spend a month walking around Boston looking like Bilbo Baggins.)

This may seem scattershot, but look closely at this promotion strategy.  It’s actually quite targeted; Farrell and Company are not just throwing anything against the wall to see what sticks.

The audience for Anchorman 2 is most likely 18-35 year olds – and probably the men in that group more so than the women.  The youngest are college students who enjoy the brand of humor, the eldest are people in their mid-20s when the original came out last year.  They are the people dropping cable and consuming entertainment mostly online.  

The idea of Ron Burgundy chilling on the quad at Emerson probably appeals to them, as does the YouTube clips of Farrell showing up in character on a North Dakota news set.  The best chance to reach this group through live TV is probably sports.  Not only does that make the SportsCenter appearance effective, but Farrell’s pro-bono Dodge commercials run during Sunday afternoon football games.  That’s some great real estate to get for free.

It seems like Ron Burgundy is everywhere these days, but don’t be fooled: Papa Burgundy probably knows just what he’s doing.