Content Marketing

Was Anchorman 2’s Content Marketing Better Than the Movie?

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that Anchorman 2’s content marketing was freaking awesome. (Well, except for maybe you, Brian Morrissey.) Ron Burgundy was everywhere. He was in the New Yorker, sharing an excerpt from his memoir. He was in Canada, doing color commentary for a curling match. He was in Bismark, North Dakota, anchoring the news for a full half-hour. He was on our TV screens during darn near every national sporting event, pitching the Dodge Durango. And he was on Conan, again and again, filming priceless bits that would be cut for YouTube and shared wide and far.

On Wednesday, after months of hype, the actual movie was released, and the consensus seems to be that the film’s content marketing eclipsed the actual product in every way — in laughs, and even as a piece of art.

A.O Scott for the New York Times writes:

“‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ is in danger of being overshadowed by its own marketing campaign. The recent media appearances by Ron Burgundy — impersonated, if you need reminding, by Will Ferrell — have the quality of commercial performance art … The new movie, meanwhile, recaptures the silly, sloppy spirit of its predecessor, minus the crucial element of surprise.”

Grantland’s Wesley Morris goes even further:

“This kind of promotional campaign feels unprecedented for a comedy as lousy as Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. It’s a matter of inverse proportions. The commercials and television appearances aren’t quite advertising the movie. They are the movie.”

In the content marketing world, this is an extremely unique situation. The branded content for a product is often better than the product itself, but it’s usually an apples and firetrucks comparison. You can say that GoldieBlox’s “Girls” video was better than the toys themselves, but it’s an abstract and empty comparison. Morris argues that the marketing for Anchorman 2 is the movie, but that’s not quite right. The marketing just might be a better piece of work — “Anchorman 1.5,” the superior Anchorman sequel.

In that spirit, here’s our Anchorman 1.5 collection. Enjoy!

Ron Burgundy does the news in Bismark. Anything does in North Dakota.

Ron Burgundy’s book trailer. (Note the low view-count. Do book trailers ever work?)

Ron Burgundy reenacts great sports calls on the Dan Patrick Show.

Ron Burgundy gets saucy on an Australian news show.

Stay classy, content strategists.

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