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Anchorman 2 – Aust Launch Campaign Review

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This week I look at Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues movie and conduct an Aust launch campaign review.

Anchorman 2 is the sequel to the 2004 movie, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy produced by Paramount Pictures. Like the original film, the sequel is directed by Adam McKay, produced by Judd Apatow and stars Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Appelgate, Vince Vaughn amongst others.

The conventional launch strategy for a Hollywood comedy is to cherry pick the funniest scenes from a movie, edit them down into a single cinema trailer and air it in cinemas and potentially on TV.

Then the studio would typically fly the director and/or star down to Australia for press interviews and for large budget films an Australian premiere.

Paramount have taken the opposite approach to the launch campaign for Anchorman 2. They have created a whole series of teaser videos, trailers and other video content to generate awareness, buzz and positive word of mouth about the movie. They have also promoted live opportunities for Will Ferrell to appear in character as Ron Burgundy.

Some of this content is directly from the finished film, some of it is likely out takes that can be packaged up later on for the DVD and some of it is content produced specifically for promotional purposes.

It is a riskier strategy. With a lot of content available, some people may think they don’t need to see the movie itself at the cinema, thinking they have already seen the best bits. In addition, without great content itself, negative buzz about the film on social media can quickly snowball.

Stage 1 – A series of teaser trailer videos were produced and aired, commencing in 2012. There was a lot of latent demand from fans of the original movie for a sequel to be developed and produced. The videos were aired in cinemas alongside specific comedies that Paramount thought would attract a similar audience such as The Dictator, as well as being posted on key social media platforms. The videos were kept short and were primarily for rebuilding awareness of the movie and the characters, tapping into that latent demand given it had been 10 years since the original movie.

Stage 2 – When the movie was finished a full length trailer was produced, also being aired in cinemas and posted on social media. Remarkably, Paramount developed an alternative movie trailer, running it concurrently with the original trailer and promoting which movie they could see the alternative trailer with – World War Z.

Stage 3 – In the months leading up to the Australian premiere of Anchorman 2, a series of news update teaser videos were also developed on timely and relevant topics specifically for Australia audiences. These videos succeed in creating content that is timely, relevant, fun and unique, key considerations for whether consumers engage and ultimately share it. Collectively, these videos have to date generated over 1 Million views on You Tube.

1. The Federal Election.

2. The AFL Grand Final

3. The Melbourne Cup

Stage 4 – A series of live appearances by Will Ferrell in character to coincide with  Australian premiere of the movie in Sydney earlier this week, as evidenced by taking over part of the news reading in character on Channel 10’s The Project. The objective of this stage was to generate broad television and media evening news coverage to a mass audience.

Cast of Anchorman 2 Tips for Improving Digital Marketing
Cast and Crew members of Anchorman 2 at Sydney Premiere

Summary

The movie is set for a worldwide simultaneous cinema release on Dec 19, 2013.

The original Anchorman movie grossed approximately $91 worldwide during it’s cinema release in 2004, plus DVD sales, with a production budget of $26m. In comparison, Anchorman 2 has an estimated production budget of $50M.

Whilst we can only speculate the box office returns for Anchorman 2, the author believes that it will do significantly better box office numbers when it is released.

Why?

The quality of the movie itself as evidenced by all the above content videos and material. The amount of supporting content produced demonstrates underlying confidence in the strength of the material.

A great content marketing campaign on digital media has helped spread significant buzz and awareness of the movie.

The profile and reputation of key cast members have significantly increased in the last 10 years since the original film, especially that of Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd.

In an Australian movie summer season dominated by The Hunger Games and the Hobbit sequels, a comedy such as Anchorman 2 will really stand out and provide a point of difference especially amongst younger male moviegoers. It will be released in cinemas a week prior to the biggest box office day of the year for movies in Australia on Boxing Day.

The supporting marketing budget is likely to have increased significantly compared to the original movie. Aside from the above content produced, witness the number of cast and crew members flown out to Australia specifically for the Australian premiere as per the above photo. Smartly, the Australian movie premiere and its promotion were held a few weeks prior to Xmas before the onslaught of Xmas advertising and shopping.

A great campaign so far. I look forward to seeing it at the cinema.

by Konrad Markham

Tips for Improving Digital Marketing

About Konrad Markham

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