November 25, 2013
To promote the Dec. 20 release of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” Paramount Pictures is taking social media to a new level for Hollywood, potentially changing movie marketing.
As AdWeek reported, the film’s stars — including Will Ferrell as the fictional TV newsman and blowhard Ron Burgundy, along with Steve Carell and Paul Rudd — have helped create more than 50 short videos and voice recordings designed for people to share on social media networks around the world.
At the time of the first “Anchorman” movie in 2004, “The concept of social media barely existed,” says Andrew Runyon, Paramount’s vice president of interactive marketing. “Facebook had just been conceived a few months prior, and YouTube and Twitter hadn’t been created. But social has allowed ‘Anchorman’ to live on as a film. And it makes us believe that we have something really zeitgeisty here that we can capitalize on.”
Much of Paramount’s strategy involves encouraging fans to create their own “Anchorman”-inspired content such as brief, silent GIF animations, along with ads on Facebook and Twitter and homepage-takeovers on sites like Yahoo and MSN.
“Our fans have been creating content and essentially marketing for us,” Paramount marketing executive Megan Wahtera says. “But it’s our job to feed the frenzy.” Hollywood’s use of fan-generated GIFs as branding vehicles on social media might spread to other industries outside entertainment, AdWeek reported. — Greg Beaubien