Anchorman 2’s PR Blitz: Dodge Durangos, Daft Punk, Rob Ford’s Campaign Song, and Whiskey
I don’t know how to put this, but...Ron Burgundy is kind of a big deal. In addition to his jazz flute prowess, immaculate hair, many leather-bound books, and an apartment smelling of rich mahogany, the news anchor has been seemingly everywhere of late, from selling Dodge Durangos—which, in turn, went flying off the assembly line—to running a three-seated bicycle with the helmeted electronic music duo Daft Punk in Amsterdam. He’s out there promoting the long-awaited sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which hits theaters Dec. 20.
Check out these fun facts about the TV news business behind 'Anchorman 2.'
The sequel to the 2004 comedy sees the Channel 4 news team—Burgundy (Will Ferrell), dimwitted Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell), mustachioed Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), and loon Champ Kind (David Koechner)—reunited in ‘80s New York on a 24-hour news network. The film will also see Christina Applegate reprise her role as Veronica Corningstone, and have her be joined by newcomer Kristen Wiig as Brick’s love interest, as well as a bevy of cameos, including Harrison Ford, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Kanye West.
And, although there’s no sign of a line of Ron Burgundy jazz flutes, Brick Tamland lamp shades, or Brian Fantana “sex panther” cologne, Ferrell has really been going to bat for the film, hawking a plethora of products and popping up on various TV programs.
Behold: the best of Burgundy.
The auto manufacturer Dodge fired the opening salvo. Over a month ago, they unleashed 70 different spots—all viewable on the company’s YouTube page—featuring Burgundy hawking Dodge Durangos, and ranging from him barking at ballroom dancers to praising the car’s glovebox. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, sales of Chrylser cars have gone up 11 percent since the ads aired, with sales of Durangos up a whopping 59 percent. The best part? Dodge didn’t even have to pay Ferrell, who did the spots to promote his movie.
Burgundy’s BFF’s: Daft Punk
Ferrell’s Burgundy popped up at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) on Nov. 10 in Amsterdam. He was all over the place, playing jazz flute with the co-hosts to taking over the red carpet. The best Burgundy bit of the night, however, came from a video sketch that aired during the show which featured the newsman hobnobbing around Amsterdam with the acclaimed electronic music duo Daft Punk. It. Is. Glorious.
The Paul Rudd/Kanye West Album
It’s the album we never knew we were waitin for: a collaboration LP between Anchorman’s Brian Fantana, a.k.a. Paul Rudd, and rap maestro Kanye West. Now, this is probably apocryphal, but at the MTV EMAs, Ferrell said, “[West is] doing an album with Paul Rudd—which I shouldn’t have said, anyway it’s out there. I think they were just comparing notes and laying down some tracks, as they say in the biz. Rudd is doing all the hooks. That’s a big deal. I heard the album’s terrible, by the way. Awful.” West is reportedly slated to cameo in Anchorman 2.
Ben & Jerry’s Scotchy Scotch Scotch
“I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes. Down into my belly.” Burgundy uttered these memorable lines in 2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and, thanks to ice cream artists at Ben & Jerry’s, there’s a new, limited edition Burgundy-inspired flavor. The concoction, dubbed Scotchy Scotch Scotch, consists of a butterscotch ice cream with butterscotch swirls. And it is delicious.
Mount Rushmore: Anchorman Edition
The Channel 4 news team filed a White House petition asking that the presidential mugs on Mount Rushmore be changed to the faces of Ron Burgundy, Brick Tamland, Brian Fantana, and Champ Kind, along with the #MakeRushmoreClassy. The petition said: “They’re the team you trust. They’re the team you listen to. Their faces are statuesque but they should be statues. For their courageous service to these United States of America and to all humanity, we ask you to help us dynamite their faces onto Mt. Rushmore.” The petition has since been removed.
Another marketing partnership of Team Burgundy’s (run by distributor Paramount) is for a special line of Burgundy Jockey underwear. “Jockey's underwear does not include an Anchorman 2 logo on it, but the packaging does,” reported the Los Angeles Times. “It comes in a box that features an image of Ferrell in full Ron Burgundy-mode: besuited, and running a hand through his mane. The packaging reads, ‘Don't act like you're not impressed’—a well-known line from the original Anchorman movie.”
Rob Ford’s Theme Song
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, a.k.a. Mayor McCrack, has been stripped of most of his powers for, if you haven’t heard, being caught smoking crack. Ferrell (as Burgundy) still decided to sing a special theme song for the gigantic, sweaty, red-faced politician. In an appearance on Conan, he sang a stunning rendition of Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend.”
The most curious Anchorman references—a few of them, actually—occur in the upcoming film Lone Survivor. Despite not sharing the same distributor, Lone Survivor is being released by Universal and Anchorman 2 is a Paramount production, the film, about a real-life failed Navy SEAL operation and starring Mark Wahlberg, contains numerous references to Anchorman in it as one of the film’s characters, Lt. Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), is a huge fan of Burgundy’s, and even has a picture of his hanging above his bunk.
Jameson Irish Whiskey
Burgundy does love his scotch, so naturally, Anchorman 2 launched a brand partnership with Jameson Irish Whiskey. The promotion kicked off in early September with over 80,000 bottles in stores offering consumers a chance to win an Anchorman experience in New York for the winner and three friends, including luxury accommodations, a tour of a newsroom, and the chance to create their own news report. Furthermore, there will be a Jameson Cult Cocktail Competition taking place across the UK where bars will create an Anchorman-inspired Jameson Irish Whiskey cocktail, and then have customers vote on their favorite. The bar that wins will host a special Anchorman event featuring some cast members.
Ron Burgundy School of Communication
On Dec. 4, the Emerson College of Communication in Boston, Massachusetts, will temporarily be named the “Ron Burgundy School of Communication” to coincide with a campus visit by Ferrell as Burgundy, who will be on hand to introduce a special screening of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. The school’s real-life dean, Phillip Glenn, said in a statement, “Naming our school in his honor—for one entire day—compels us to honor the Ron Burgundy that’s inside all of us…to live out our dreams, in full color and matching polyester.” And Burgundy added, “I can’t wait to inspire students with my story of how I got to the top…the very top. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It’s a lot of work, especially if you don’t have great hair.”
An Anchorman Exhibit at Newseum
At Washington D.C.’s Newseum, a museum celebrating the press corps’ achievements, a new exhibit will be featured from Nov. 14 through next Aug. 31 displaying memorabilia from 2004’s Anchorman, including their beautiful polyester suits, Burgundy’s mustache brush, and his “IM #1” license plate. According to Newseum Curator Carrie Christoffersen, the brush signifies the “vanity required by anchors in the 1970s.”
A Burgundy Book
If that weren't enough, everyone's favorite fictional newsman released an "autobiographical" book on Nov. 19 entitled Let Me Off At the Top!: My Classy Life and Other Musings. According to its description: "From his humble beginnings in a desolate Iowa coal mining town, his years at Our Lady Queen of Chewbacca High School to his odds-defying climb to the dizzying heights of becoming America’s most trusted and beloved television News Anchor, Ron Burgundy pulls no punches in Let Me Off at the Top! In his very own words Burgundy reveals his most private thoughts, his triumphs and his disappointments. His life reads like an adventure story complete with knock down fights, beautiful women and double-fisted excitement on every page."