Olivier Francois, Chrysler’s chief marketing officer and the man who hired rapper Eminem and movie star Clint Eastwood as Chrysler pitchmen, introduced the new spokesman for the 2014 Durango launch – famed 1970s anchorman Ron Burgundy, better known as actor Will Ferrell.

Francois said that the Burgundy character is funny and beloved by Americans.

“I am from Europe and didn’t know much about Ron Burgundy,” Francois said. “I learned about him from Youtube videos that (Dodge brand CEO) Tim Kuniskis showed me.”

“The Dodge brand’s irreverent tone and attitude make Ron Burgundy the perfect pitchman for the new 2014 Dodge Durango,” Francois said. Francois got Ferrell to pitch a refurbished version of the Dodge Durango SUV for free. Paramount Pictures, he said, bartered work on the commercials in exchange for the promotion in the ads of an “Anchorman” sequel that is due out in December.

Ferrell, Francois said, was given a free hand to write and produce the ads. Francois said Ferrell’s commercials were supposed to highlight three features – the Durango’s 360 hp, the vehicles 25 mpg for highway driving and its technology and infotainment systems.

Francois said that Ferrell didn’t just help create Dodge’s three commercials – one for each highlight – but 70 different commercials.

Not all of them will be broadcast on television. Ferrell is the co-founder of the web site, “Funny or Die,” and some of the Burgundy spots will likely show up there.

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