Anchorman: The Legend of Living Product Placement
It’s been nearly 10 years since Will Ferrell’s instant classic “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” was on the silver screen. When cries for a sequel reached a feverish pitch, Ferrell himself publicly confirmed the follow-up on Conan O’Brien’s late night talk show in March of 2012. Since announcing the film, Ron Burgundy has taken product placement to a new level, appearing in everything from Dodge Durango commercials to a local newscast in North Dakota. This is a new and expansive form of living product placement that gives marketers one more tool to promote their wares.
The original Anchorman was a smash hit full of memorable scenes and lines that are regularly referenced in pop culture and casual conversation – nearly everyone knows Ron Burgundy. Thanks to this familiarity, Ferrell is able to market the forthcoming sequel across a variety of television spots. Even ESPN’s SportsCenter will be treated to a visit from Burgundy and one of his Channel 4 News Team compatriots, sports anchor Champ Kind.
Ferrell’s sponsors are benefiting, too. Dodge Durango sales are up 59 percent since the ad campaign began. Burgundy’s exploits and his partners are in the news nearly every day. It would be a shock if the numerous sponsors working with Ferrell didn’t show up in the film in some way.
There is one thing to bear in mind with this kind of product placement: The “product” in question must be widely-known and appeal to a broad audience. Without instant recognition, most sponsors won’t sign on and the effect will be greatly diminished.
However, in the words of Ron Burgundy, “When it’s right, it’s right.” Ferrell has found the perfect way to generate the maximum amount of buzz leading up to the sequel to Anchorman – by staying in character and appearing in everything he can.