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Behind the Ferrell ads

by David Zatz on

burgundyThe Associated Press ran a story on why Chrysler is running “Ron Burgundy” (Will Ferrell in his Anchorman role) ads for the Dodge Durango.

The main reason: Will Ferrell’s work was free.

Paramount Pictures is running Anchorman 2 in December, and offered Will Ferrell’s services as a pitch-man to gain attention for the movie. The original Anchorman ran in 2004, nearly a decade ago, and the producers may have thought that the public had forgotten the character.

As for Chrysler, with an advertising budget far lower than GM or Ford, every penny counts, and “free” is hard to turn down.

Will Ferrell was, according to Chrysler advertising chief Olivier Francois, the writer and producer of all the ads; they were supposed to make no more than six, but finished with no less than 70 ads. Some of the riskier ads are not going to be run on Chrysler’s sites (or television).

According to the article, Mr. Francois had never heard of the movie or character, but found that his staff was familiar with both. The ads have already had an impact, with some of them being replayed on daytime television, being discussed on various “morning shows” and radio programs, and gaining millions of hits on YouTube. Around a hundred comments have been posted on Allpar so far.  Thanks, “eastcoaster.”

David ZatzDavid Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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