The holiday season is the prime time for quality advertising. Companies make the decision to go with quantity or quality. The Anchorman 2 ad executives decided to do something unheard of before. They would create quality Anchorman 2 commercials and make the broadcast equivalent of junk mail. In this Dodge Durango commercial, of all places, legendary fictional anchorman Ron Burgundy acts as spokesman for “last of the real SUVs.” The commercial plays upon other car commercials using a similar format as well as incorporating a beloved character into their ad. By having Ron Burgundy as their spokesman, Dodge parodies other car commercials in order to impress the audience with how very nice the Dodge Durango actually is.
In order to really sell a product, it is often helpful to use some sort of public figure or celebrity to really sell the product. This implements one of the three basic appeals a person can make while in an argument: ethos. The celebrity—in this case, Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy—describes the product and its many wonderful and amazing features. The audience responds to this because they know this oft-spoken-of person and know what sort of message this person carries.
The Durango commercial uses Anchorman’s anchorman for two reasons: to use his image to get the audience to make connections and to get the audience to laugh. For anyone who has not watched Anchorman, Ron Burgundy is a classy gentleman who is well-versed in the finer things in life. This is evidenced throughout the movie in his choice of suits, drinks, and music. He knows the right choices when it comes to looking classy and being successful. So when Ron Burgundy comes on screen and says that this is a beast of a machine and everyone should buy it, people will listen to him. The secondary reason for using Ron Burgundy is for his comedic appeal. Getting an audience to laugh makes them more receptive to persuasion (Thank You For Arguing Heinrichs). Ron Burgundy, with his 70’s style mustache and maroon suit already cuts a comedic figure. Anyone who has seen him before in Anchorman will already be thinking about his antics from the movie. The audience is now laughing, happy, and much more receptive. The hilarity continues when he gets mad at the dancers and chases them off-stage. The happy audience now feels more inclined to purchase this Dodge Durango.
In a very sneaky strategy employed by the folks at Dodge, the type of advertisement that they make fun of is actually incorporated into the commercial. Comparing the car being advertised to something of power or grace is a commonplace used in car commercials for years. Many different comparisons have been drawn, but a familiar one is the dancer. Another commonplace, a dancer is beautiful, elegant, powerful, and precise; exactly what a car should be. This appeals logically to the audience. The dancer, so graceful and elegant, being in close proximity to the car causes the audience to associate the dancer with the SUV. Also, in showing shots of the car as well as the dancer, it only helps the audience speed up the association process. So even though the commercial pokes fun at other advertisements that compare cars to people, the audience still makes the connection that the Durango is in many ways like the dancers.
Even though the audience does make the connection between cars and dancers, Dodge still parodies those types of advertisements. There are a variety of ways why this is a good strategy by Dodge, Firstly, it once again invokes humor because normally in these types of commercials the narrator and dancers do not meet. This parody of commercials adds another element of humor to the advertisement, thus making the audience more receptive still. Secondly, his unexpected outburst at the dancers draws the attention to what Mr. Burgundy has to say about the great SUV he is selling. He becomes quite worked up that the dancers are there so his compliments are shouted. People listen to a man shouting. More importantly, by making fun of the commercials, Dodge is saying something along the lines of “look at this, we are not like other car companies. This is a special car,” because they broke the tradition and got away with it, the audience respects that and looks into it.
The Anchorman 2/Dodge Durango commercial is a fantastic bit of advertisement. It plays with commonplace of comparing cars to dancers by parodying it. It makes the car stick out by saying that it is different from other cars like it, but still says that it has these dancer-like qualities. It employs the ethos of Ron Burgundy to get the audience to listen even more to what he has to say, because he knows a good car when he sees it; his reputation precedes him. All in all, Dodge is saying that purchasing the Durango would keep a person living up to Ron Burgundy’s standard of staying classy.