Remember that time you hoped against hope for a sequel to Anchorman? You weren’t alone of course; the 2004 film earned cult-like status in the years following its release, leaving legions of fans desperate for more Ron Burgundy. After years of waiting, the sequel is nearly here, and it seems the folks at Paramount want you reminded of that every time you turn on a television, open a magazine, or buy ice cream at a grocery store. Indeed, the marketing machine for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues has reached an all time high, leaving some to question, “how much is too much?” Hit the jump for more.
Drew Taylor at Indiewire’s The Playlist blog does a nice job compiling the many product placements and media appearances Ron Burgundy has enjoyed over the last several weeks to promote Anchorman 2. From assisting with a small local news station in North Dakota to showing up at the CMT Awards, to adorning the front of a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream container, you would be hard pressed to miss San Diego’s most famous newscaster. More importantly though, Taylor offers solid analysis of the scope of the Anchorman campaign and questions if the ultimate effect on consumers will be a positive one:
The marketing barrage and promo tie-ins for the film of late have been certifiably ubiquitous and near assaultive. Sure, there have always been pre-release marketing tie-ins before (“The Dark Knight” and Mountain Dew for example, or Gillette and “Man of Steel”), and some were pretty elaborate, but the sheer scope and volume of what’s being produced (under the supervision of Ferrell and director Adam McKay) is truly staggering. It’s either game-changing, portentous or obnoxious, depending on your point of view.
Using Taylor’s’s three choices, I would opt for “obnoxious” to best describe the Anchorman hype machine (and I say that as a fan of the original film). Comedies are a tricky beast to market. They typically don’t feature characters with deep stories that we invest in emotionally or identify with personally, which is why you don’t see many expansive viral campaigns for comedies. Rather, we are drawn to comedic characters because for a brief two-hour period, they make us laugh. The marketing campaign for Anchorman 2 though has been determined to have Will Ferrell and his Ron Burgundy persona pervade nearly every media outlet possible, from Sportscenter to Dog Fancy, reminding us over and over and over again to “stay classy.”
We will have a better gauge of the public sentiment over the Anchorman campaign when the movie’s box office returns start coming in. Until then, I can’t help but wonder if Paramount has done the impossible: after all those years of pining for more Ron Burgundy, they might have given us more than we ever wanted.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues arrives in theaters December 20, but chances are you already knew that.