“They’ve done studies, you know. Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.”
While this famous quote from the 2004 comedy classic Anchorman was initially employed to describe a particularly pungent brand of fictitious cologne, it could just as easily be appropriated to describe actor Will Ferrell’s new advertising partnership with Dodge.
The campaign, which sees Ferrell performing in character as Anchorman protagonist Ron Burgundy, serves as a promotion for both the new Dodge Durango and the sequel to the original Anchorman film: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
The ads, of which there are more than 70, feature the sharp-suited newscaster highlighting random and often inconsequential features of the Durango, such as its glovebox, and going on highly tangential rants about a wide range of perceived issues.
While this may not necessarily be the most traditional method of advertising a new car or SUV, studies show that this campaign has actually achieved enormous success that has translated directly to increased sales of the Durango. Since the campaign’s debut, Chrysler has reported an increase in Durango sales of 59 percent and an increase in overall vehicle sales of 11 percent.
The ads themselves have been immensely popular as well. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the ads have over seven million YouTube views collectively. In addition, the Durango’s web traffic has been boosted by a whopping 80 percent.
This isn’t necessarily surprising. After all, the commercials feature a big name actor in his most iconic role and are genuinely funny. It’s no wonder that they’ve gone viral on YouTube. What is notable, however, is the direct impact that the campaign has had on vehicle sales.
Again, the ads don’t do anything to highlight any of the recently reengineered SUV’s notable features or compare it to its competition in any way. The campaign eschews traditional advertising strategies in favor of a far more absurdist approach that relies on humor and subtle product placement for its sticking power.
So maybe those classy newscasters were right back in 2004 when discussing efficacy. These campaigns really do work sixty percent of the time, every time.