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Burgundy strikes again: When advertising meets the real world

Published November 22, 2013 at 8:28 am

Staying classy is one thing. Selling a car in a series of commercials is another. And then there’s temporarily having a school named after you. Bit of a jump for a 70s newsman in a loud red suit.

The sort of honor normally reserved for great figures and politicians has been bestowed on the unlikely candidate of Ron Burgundy, who has once again become inescapable in media as the premiere date for his new movie, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” gets closer.

As a journalist himself, perhaps it seemed only fitting that the journalism school of Emerson College is the one that has chosen to rename itself “The Ron Burgundy School of Communication” in coordination with a visit from the man himself.

Yes, you read right: Will Ferrell will be dropping by the school in character to address the students, as part of the truly massive advertising blitz surrounding this film.

In a tongue-in-cheek press release from the school, the college’s president, Lee Pelton, described this encounter as “a chance to engage with someone who understands the power of media, as well as hairspray, first-hand.”

But what is it really? A chance to give your product a spin in the real world and grab some headlines.

Bringing the characters and images of your brand to life is hardly a new concept. When the Simpsons movie hit screens back in 2007, 7/11 stores changed their names and some of their items to match fictional products from the film.

Ultimately, though, these campaigns always depend on the strength of the product. Only time will tell if “Anchorman 2″ was worth the tremendous hype and temporary college takeover, but in the meantime, we have a creative approach to this movie’s marketing that fits within its world.

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