Are we getting too much of a good thing? I hesitate to ask this question – but seriously, the guy is everywhere. Is it possible that Will Ferrell will exhaust the character before the movie comes out? Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues already has to bare the weight of being a sequel (since sequels are notoriously inferior to the original), so why subject it to additional stress? But these are my concerns as a consumer, or member of the public, not as a Marketer.
When I take a step back and view this from a marketing perspective – it’s pure genius. Even if the movie is a total flop, there will be enough money from endorsements and promotions to put them back in the green. I’d like to know if Will Ferrell owns the rights to the Ron Burgundy character, because if he does – that guy is making some serious cash! By removing the character from the movie, they’ve managed to tape into thousands of potential moviegoers. I mean, the guy made an appearance at the Olympic Trials for curling in Winnipeg — Winnipeg! There are Canadians that don’t even know where Winnipeg is, and yet – there’s Ron Burgundy wearing a kilt to a curling trial.
The “Ron Burgundy” brand is marketing genius. After the appearance by Burgundy at the Olympic curling trials, network executives reported a 38% increase in ratings. Not too shabby. Even more impressive,though, is the increase in sales that Dodge experienced after featuring Ron Burgundy in their Durango advertisements. October sales went up 59% from the previous year, while November sales are up 36%. Additionally, Dodge saw an 80% traffic jump on their website and more than 15.3 million views on their YouTube channel.
Considering the fact that Ron Burgundy is likely just another pop culture trend, companies have to jump onboard quickly before his popularity begins to fade. This type of “strike while the iron is hot” mentality is adding fuel to the Ron Burgundy fire – while simultaneously promoting the movie and the business or product. Layered on top of that is the promotion of the actor himself, Will Ferrell. Some viewers who were not previously aware of Will Ferrell’s work may be inclined to watch more of his movies, bringing in even more money of the actor.
It’s pure economic genius. Creating a commodity has generated demand – and a willing to consume essentially any product or service to meet that demand. For example, the increased website traffic that Dodge experienced after using Ron Burgundy in their ads primarily consisted of “lower funnel activity” – which means the online visitors were looking to take action, such as searching for a local dealer. Being lower in the funnel also implies that the person is ready to make a purchase – if you play your cards just right.
Who knew a character in a movie could make such an economic impact? This guy did.