Is it possible to over-promote a movie?
We may find out this weekend with the premiere of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. For the past several weeks, consumers have experienced a barrage of advertising for the movie, including Ron Burgundy cameos on Saturday Night Live, The Today Show, online games and even some local TV newscasts. Will Ferrell’s character has also written op-eds for The Huffington Post, appeared on scores of YouTube videos and, of course, is spokesman for a series of Dodge Durango ads that cross-promote Anchorman 2.
All of this for a sequel to what, in my mind, was a mildly amusing Ferrell comedy from back in 2004. I mean, if Anchorman had been such a huge cultural force, why did it take Paramount nearly a decade to produce a follow-up? Is the world really pining for a continuation of the saga about Ferrell’s pompously stupid 1970s talking head? And, even if the world is, does Anchorman 2 deserve the kind of promotional build-up and viral chatter you would expect from, say, a Star Wars sequel?
According to this article on The Verge, Anchorman 2 may be laying the groundwork for how movies are marketed in the future.
I hope not. As a consumer, I’ve gone from being slightly annoyed by all the Anchorman 2 promos to actively rooting for the movie to flop and possibly even spell the beginning of the end to Ferrell’s one-note comedy career. I’m willing to bet that I am not the only person who is sick of seeing Ron Burgundy’s famous ‘stache, and will opt to go see an actual “good” movie over the holidays, of which there should be plenty (American Hustle, The Monuments Men, The Wolf of Wall Street, to name a few).
Ron Burgundy may try to persuade you that his movie is kind of a big deal. Don’t buy it. Anchorman 2 just another “franchise” sequel that viewers will forget shortly after leaving the theater.