Agile Digital PR: Score 1, Ron Burgundy and Paramount Pictures

When news of cult classic Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy successor Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues hit social and mainstream media, comedy and movie fans across the world shared their excitement around the news of its return. Ron Burgundy, an ambitious, macho 70’s newsreader who is both classy and hit with the ladies, is set to hit cinemas on December 20.

Will Ferrell, the actor who plays Ron Burgundy, is no stranger to the power of social media as a key shareholder and content creator for online comedy network Funny or Die, developed by his production partners “and a bunch of Silicon Valley dudes and ladies”.

Taking this understanding of content virality, Anchorman 2 is taking the Funny or Die approach and delivering timely, relevant and funny social content that is capturing the attention and clicks of both online and traditional media audiences, months before launch to build on the film’s pre-launch anticipation. Ron Burgundy is becoming part of real-world news, which in turn is making him part of real-world news discussion. Professional communicators could take a few notes from this case study as a great example of agile social media marketing and PR.

EXHIBIT ONE: In recognition of yesterday’s AFL Grand Final, Ron Burgundy took to the web in recognition of the game’s biggest day of the year and apologising that he was unable to join the sports news team for the event due to a faux restraining order from Samantha Lane (a high profile Australian sports and football commentator). This tongue-in-cheek, newsy 45 sec clip has made its own news in mainstream media including, Herald Sun, Business Insider, Yahoo, The Vine and SMH Online, and generating almost 10,000 views in the ten hours since launch.

EXHIBIT TWO: Joining in on pre-election news, the dramatic eleventh-hour ALP change of leadership between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, and even commenting on Tony Abbott’s appearance in Speedos, Ron Burgundy became part of news around the Australian Federal Election as a “reporter” for the “Global News Network” in early September. 34 secs in length, the news of the clip was included in mainstream news spaces including SMH Online, Ninemsn, Herald Sun, SBS and even Gizmodo, helping to drive more than 500k video views (stats at end Sept 29). Short, snappy, timely content that rode the news agenda to make Ron Burgundy a clever and fun fixture of pre-election news commentary.

This is digital PR done right…and expect more before the film hits screens in December.

Well played Paramount Pictures. Well played.

2 responses to “Agile Digital PR: Score 1, Ron Burgundy and Paramount Pictures

  1. Great stuff. Also another nice example of the way we are starting to see more and more ‘transmedia storytelling’ as part of marketing communications. Different genre, but the faux TED talk for Prometheus springs to mind.
    The challenge of course is that you need access to both the talent/assets and the creators (or license to play with their work). I think it’s no surprise that in this case Ferrell is both talent and creator – it’s in cases like this where you have a passionate and brilliant auteur that think kind of work will be most likely to happen… again, thinking of the Wachowski brothers and their work around the Matrix series.

  2. Pingback: Agile Digital PR II: Ron Burgundy returns for the Melbourne Cup | Conversation by Design·

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