Blurring the lines of reality

Who better to take this week’s marketing lesson from than from a man who has a voice that could make wolverine purr and suits so fine they make Sinatra look like a hobo? That’s right, the one-and-only news anchor extraordinaire Ron Burgundy!

Will Ferrell

If you have turned on any news broadcast in the last 5 hours, then chances are you have seen this video:

That’s right. Ron Burgundy took 30 seconds out of his day to read up on the Australian political situation and add his own commentary to the mix of many other more-qualified political commentators. And not only is it a very funny video, it has also gained over 16,000 views in a little over 5 hours.

While 16,000 views may not seem very much in a world where the newest pop sensation can garner over a million views in a matter of hours, I just want to compare it with another election video.

News Corp Australia produced a rather comprehensive video on the first election debate which took viewers through the journey that the Press Club members went on as the two major candidates debated major Australian issues. This was uploaded three weeks ago and is currently sitting on 21,000 views.

16,000 views in 5 hours compared to 21,000 views in 504 hours. I’d say that Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy may win this battle.

Anyway, that is tangential to my point.

In promoting the new film, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Will Ferrell has been asked to suspend reality and create new material in the style of the film in order to spread word that it is coming soon. This isn’t actually a new concept for the Anchorman marketing team as Will Ferrell has a history of appearing at television interviews as Ron Burgundy – Even occasionally breaking out into a bit of jazz flute!

So what is my point? The show doesn’t have to end when the curtain comes down.

There are plenty of topical shows playing on Broadway and the West End at the moment which could easily transfer into real life situations. Well, use these situations as opportunities to promote the show.

The Anchorman/Australian Election cross over video has been such a hit in a matter of hours because it blurs the line between the make-believe world of Ron Burgundy and the Global News Network team with the real world of the Australian Election. And because it is able to do this so well, it has been the light fluff piece at the end of tonight’s news on most of the commercial Australian stations.

So why not encourage audiences to suspend their disbelief for a little longer out in the real world? Get Elphaba from Wicked at the front of a protest march against some kind of injustice. Film an eHarmony advertisement with the leads from First Date. Or even circulate a message from Spiderman as he hunts down the evil doers in New York.

Why not have a bit of fun? This Anchorman video shows that the audiences would be up for it.