By Joe Pulizzi published January 4, 2014

What You Can Learn About Content Marketing from ‘Anchorman’

PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

pnr-this old marketing logoIn this week’s edition, Joe and Robert ponder what our world would be like without any advertising, review a few amazing articles about the film Anchorman 2, and discuss content marketing lessons that brands can learn from the legend of Ron Burgundy. 

This week’s show

Download this week’s PNR This Old Marketing podcast.

Show overview

1. Content Marketing in the News

  • The End of Advertising: In this brief opening segment, Joe and Robert determine just how important advertising is, and debate whether a lack of advertising could open the human race up to chaos. (Contributing article: The Huffington Post)
  • What “Anchorman 2” Did Was a Big Deal: Instead of reusing existing movie assets to create buzz around the film, the marketing team behind Anchorman 2 created all new content assets by leveraging Will Ferrell. This hasn’t previously been done for movie marketing — at least not to such a great extent. Not only has the movie surpassed gross ticket sales for the original Anchorman film — in just two weeks — its success has opened up the possibility for a multibillion dollar franchise. (Contributing article: AdAge)

  • The Public Doesn’t Trust Reporters: Gallup released an update to a survey first conducted in 1976 where just 21 percent of the general public trusts reporters and journalists. Unbelievably, this has not changed much in 40 years, and the number isn’t much different than the public’s trust of advertising executives. (Contributing article: MediaPost)
  • Content Marketing Predictions: Were They Right or Wrong?: Increased regulations, content marketing in Europe, more content marketing teams ahead, LinkedIn explodes, and a bit of a dialogue on content marketing and VC spending. (Contributing article: Mashable) 

Upcoming Events

This week, our PNR: This Old Marketing podcast features three upcoming CMI events:

ContentTECH: A free, one-day virtual event covering how content marketing technology can take your business to the next level. Register here.
Content Marketing World Sydney: The big show goes down under for a second year in a row (31 March–2 April, 2014). Speakers have been confirmed from successful marketers such as Tourism Australia, Cisco Systems, Kelly Services, Deloitte, AMP, and B&T Financial. Register here.
Content Marketing World: The largest content marketing show on the planet returns to Cleveland, Ohio in 2014 (September 8–11). The event features more than 80 sessions during four days of nonstop information and entertainment. Don’t miss it! Register today.

2. Rants & Raves

  • Robert’s Wishes: In 2014, Robert wishes to see the end of content marketers needing to prove their ROI before they even get started. Robert also hopes for the end of SEO- and quantity-based content marketing initiatives and the first and only argument for brand content creation.
  • Joe’s Rant: Joe spent the holiday reviewing speaking submissions for Content Marketing World, leading him to rant about how literally hundreds of agencies submitted themselves — without submitting a client co-presenter. Bad agency, bad…

3. Listener Question

  • This week’s question comes from Mark in St. Louis (via email): “What should a start-up company who has very little marketing budget be doing as it relates to content marketing?

If you enjoyed this podcast, Robert and Joe would appreciate it if you could post your review on iTunes.

How do I subscribe?

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi considers himself the poster boy for content marketing. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute , Joe evangelizes content marketing around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books, including best-selling Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill) and the new book, Content Inc. Check out Joe's two podcasts. If you want to get on his good side, send him something orange. For more on Joe, check out his personal site or follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

Other posts by Joe Pulizzi

Join Over 170,000 of your Peers!

Get daily articles and news delivered to your email inbox and get CMI’s exclusive e-book Get Inspired: 75 (More) Content Marketing Examples FREE!

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Joe,

    I dig the idea to create all new content assets around the Anchorman sequel. Makes total sense to me and the box office is proving this. Create, rise above the competition….or simply outdo yourself 😉


  • William J. Holland

    L.A. Times explained how the “marketing” was deeply fowled up. I thought the Hollywood types were expert marketers.

    Are we experiencing the limits of commercialization?

    Here’s the link:,0,465777.story#axzz2qPv8KR00

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Wow…the movie already has grossed $160 million worldwide (versus 85 million for the original). When did doubling the original become bad news? Check this article out.

      • William J. Holland

        Yes, revenue matters. Given that CMI embodies the finest norms governing marketing, I thought the L.A. Times article references a disturbing cognitive trend that even the most astute marketers fail to surmount, namely the narcosis intrinsic to saturated inclusive environments. If the Hollywood “suits” had a diet of Marshall McLuhan, they’d know where the fault line resides in the packaging of Anchorman.

        C.M.I. & your writings, which I am a deep fan of, have provided the requisite guide for companies to punch through this most difficult cognitive trait. Keep hammering on Joe, I love your work!

        • Joe Pulizzi

          Can’t thank you enough for your support. Means a lot!

  • Ben Ustick

    Thanks for doing this, Joe. The entire leadup to Anchorman 2, I was just amazed by the innovative and constant crush of content marketing they were doing. Obviously the car commercial was amazing and things like the appearance on the Dan Patrick show were just invaluable. Will Ferrell got out there and took advantage of every opportunity that was thrown his way. And as a fan, I actually enjoyed seeing Ron Burgundy all over the place. So for these reasons, I included this in my roundup of the month’s best content.