Ron Burgundy is a social TV genius

By Cory Bergman 

Ron Burgundy is everywhere. Just search his name on YouTube to discover hundreds of clips totaling millions of views — a video carpet-bombing of promotional exploits far and wide. asks, “Is Anchorman 2 the most publicized movie of all time?” Quite possibly, and the movie’s tie-up with Dodge Durango is a textbook social TV success story.

You’ve seen Durango TV spots with the hilarious Will Ferrell as Burgundy, and Chrysler is pumping out web clips by the dozens: over 70 over the course of the campaign. It’s all engineered by the brilliant Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., the same agency behind the Old Spice campaign, a social TV masterpiece. On this one, the agency worked with Funny or Die writers to make Burgundy extra hilarious.

While it’s too early to see if the campaign pays off at the box office, it’s working big-time for Chrysler, which reported that Dodge Durango sales jumped 59% in October and 36% in November over last year at the same time. “It’s pretty amazing,” Burgundy said on Conan. “What’s so amazing about it is it’s a terrible car.” Most advertisers would faint, but Dodge is living it up. That YouTube clip has 380,000 views and counting.

It will be fascinating to see the December sales numbers, especially as buzz around the movie’s December 18th premiere shows no signs of slowing down.

This YouTube clip has over 3 million views. The horse lost.

What makes this campaign different is the tireless Ron Burgundy, traveling from newscast to radio show, blurring fiction with reality. From crashing a North Dakota TV station to interviewing Peyton Manning on ESPN, the stunts have generated boatloads of earned media, both on TV and the web (a Google News search for his name turned up 64,900 results, and Topsy says his name has been tweeted 237,000 times in the last month.) There’s even a Ron Burgundy scotch. Meanwhile, marketers continue to churn out clips like candy, fueling the social fire.

It illustrates that in the fragmented world of media, it takes hard work to create and execute a successful social TV campaign, even when you have one of the funniest people on the planet.