The Branding of Ron Burgundy Eschews Convention

    By Lou Hoffman | Small Business

    The Branding of Ron Burgundy Eschews Convention image ron burgundy zps595ecdefThe Branding of Ron Burgundy Eschews Convention

    You’re probably expecting me to spit out the seven lessons of branding from Ron Burgundy in a tidy row of bullets.

    Instead, there’s a more meaningful takeaway from the branding effort on Ron Burgundy and leading into the release of Anchorman 2 later this month.

    Zig when others zag.

    Like the science behind storytelling in which our brains tune out words we hear again and again, the same concept applies to building any brand. Throw enough money at a campaign based on the Branding 101 Handbook, and it will typically deliver pats on the back. But it takes fresh thinking to cut through the noise.

    You can see how the latter plays out in the marketing of Anchorman 2.

    Actors and actresses always do the talk show circuit to promote their movies. I’m sure Will Ferrell will be making the rounds as well.

    But check out three other Ferrell appearances that fall under the unconventional umbrella, all in Ron Burgundy mode.

    First, Ron shows up as co-anchor on a local news station in Bismarck, North Dakota, population 65,000 on a good day.

    Next, he attended the Canadian Olympic curling trials in Winnipeg where he demonstrated that this isn’t his first curling competition.

    The Branding of Ron Burgundy Eschews Convention image 95d9199e d41f 4b1a ac80 b602d65b6e57 zpsf0e9b5f9The Branding of Ron Burgundy Eschews Convention

    His third appearance takes him to the big city, Boston, but not to an expected venue. He ends up at Emerson College, which has renamed its school of communications the “Ron Burgundy School of Communication” (for a day).

    The Branding of Ron Burgundy Eschews Convention image 7d214e57 9d2c 433f 9aaa a4a363b4c183 zpsab534385The Branding of Ron Burgundy Eschews Convention

    The three appearances generated hundreds of stories, tons of videos and ultimately over one billion impressions.


    Of course, Ferrell’s name recognition and gift for improv underpin the campaign. Still, the safe thing, the obvious thing, would have been to use the NBA, local news in a big city and USC as the backdrops.

    I think it’s fair to say the zig instead of the unconventional zag rewarded Team Burgundy.

    Even a B2B company without a sense of humor can take the road less traveled.

    All it takes is guts.

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