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Anchorman 2: Real-Time Bursts of Burgundy

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Insight

Goodbye Channel 4, Ron’s in the big leagues now. Ten years since Anchorman 1, MEC Global Solutions’ brief was to launch the sequel with a similar premise: a male chauvinist news anchor who sensationalises trivial news. 

While Will Ferrell and his co-stars were new faces in 2004, they were big expensive stars now. The pressure on the film to deliver was huge: a production budget of $50m (double that of Anchorman1), a media target of 11.9 million trailer views and as many cynics as there were advocates.

Set to launch in December, the comedy hinged on the Ron Burgundy character and his irreverent comments on the news. When planning the launch in August, the agency was drawn to December because its insight told that if you want to be really, really funny you have to be topical.

Comedy is all about…. Timing.

Strategy

Predict the news; create the Burgundy magic.

The launch in December gave the moment in time. But there was a big problem: it didn’t know what the news would be four months later! 

The Idea: Real Time Bursts of Burgundy. 

MEC Global Solutions set out to show Burgundy in action: taking trivial news items and making them funny. But you can’t fake the news. To make this launch a success it had to predict the news of the future. So it set about an unusual research project: Fortune-telling.

The agency used a range of sources to predict what would be the key news stories in December for the core audience. It used pre-launch buzz on social media for consoles like Xbox1 and PS4, Call of Duty Ghosts and Grand Theft Auto. It used media partners like IGN, Microsoft, Google, MTV and many others to forecast what and who would be hitting the news at the key marketing moment.

MEC Global Solutions mapped out the events calendar (MTV Music Awards, End of Year Reviews, sporting events, Royal Birth) and identified which moments would create the biggest impact for Ron’s take on the world, producing content months before the real news happened.

It’s not news unless Ron Burgundy says it is and he'll read absolutely anything from a tele-prompter.

Execution

Will Ferrell as Creative Director. Working hand-in-hand with the writing and acting talent had never happened in the history of a film launch for Paramount: Working with Will Ferrell and his production company Funny or Die and script writing agency JET, the agency created bespoke video content of Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy commenting on news that hadn’t happened yet on a select few media partner sites.

It created bespoke ‘Year in Review’ content for Yahoo and MSN with Ron Burgundy’s take on the year’s events, the editorial value was huge - achieving front page coverage in all markets. The agency ran a range of impactful display and mobile media and integrated both Paramount and media partners Twitter and Facebook feeds to promote content further. In a media first, the videos were featured across Windows 8 news applications with MSN.

 In ground breaking work with IGN it integrated Ron Burgundy into the daily news to parody predicted topics appearing as real. This was promoted by a teaser campaign, using display, IGN social feeds and editorial.

At the MTV European Music Awards, the agency brokered a deal for Ron Burgundy to present a 30 minute nominations special in September, present an award and vignettes throughout the show, supported with display media and editorial across MTV sites.

All underpinned by a large campaign to push trailer views across BrightRoll, the world’s second largest online video network, using highly targeted, premium Pre-roll with Ron’s bespoke, real-time news reporting as the hook.

Results

Stayed Classy. The strategy to create ‘real time’ news comments relevant to the launch timing significantly increased editorial and trailer views beyond paid media delivery.

With 8 billion impressions and 19.3 million video views (Target-11.9 million), across media partners and social channels, this increased the value of the campaign by 79 times (normal rates are 10 times the paid value).  

This has contributed to strong box office figures of over $200m, surpassing Anchorman 1 by $90 million.

“MEC did an excellent job of leveraging our custom creative in the course of establishing our paid media buys – a job that doesn’t necessarily fall within the traditional parameters of media planning and buying, but was critical to our film’s success,” says Steve Peace, SVP Global Media, Paramount.

You don't have to be as stubborn as a whore from the 1800's to not acknowledge that Ron was back and back to his best.

Have Your Say

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Brand:
Anchorman 2 (Movie)
Brand Owner:
Paramount Pictures
Category:
Entertainment
Region:
Austria
Germany
United Kingdom
date:
July - December 2013
Agency:
MEC
Media Channel:
Online

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