Who would have ever thought that Ron Burgundy would become a bright and shining example of great marketing? Will Ferrell’s “Anchorman” character has created such a buzz marketing and promoting the Dodge Durango that not only are the spots popular – they are producing! That is the telltale sign of effective marketing – it’s effective. So, in looking at their success, what can dentists learn from it and apply to marketing their practices? I found six things that we can all take away from this campaign success.
1. Let the experts do what they do best so that you can do what YOU do best.
Chrysler Chief Marketing Officer Olivier Francois told Advertising Age that when he hired Will Ferrell he let him do what he does – be funny. They didn’t write a script or even direct him. They told him their goals and then let him loose. The desired 5-10 spots that they wanted turned into over 70 pieces of pure gold! Lesson? Do what you do best. Let the experts you hire do what they know how to do.
2. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.
When Francois was asked which was his favorite commercial, he named some of the lesser-known commercials. He stated that while the most popular commercial, “It Comes Standard,” is funny, there are funnier options. The only reason that one has more views and is the most talked about is because it ran first. The longer an ad runs and the more it is seen, the more memorable it is. All marketing efforts need to be seen a MINIMUM of five to seven times before someone can remember it and is willing to act on it.
3. Never underestimate the power of social media.
These popular commercials are made memorable and are most often seen because of social media like YouTube. Forty of the 70 commercials cut have run in the mainstream media outlets while the remaining have been posted on YouTube. People have shared these commercials on social networking sites repeatedly, helping to stack up the number of views in the millions. “It Comes Standard” has already been viewed over 4.7 million times. While dental videos will likely not be seen by millions, your message can be seen by the equivalent for your practice. It is a cost-effective way to increase the number of times your marketing and your message can be viewed.
While there are various commercials cut with Will Ferrell, many things remain the same. The product NEVER changed. The Dodge Durango was the product marketed in the commercials. They didn’t try to sell all of their vehicles. Instead, they chose very strategically to focus on one vehicle. Also, the set was the same. The actor was the same. The style was the same. It was clear these commercials were all promoting one thing and that was the Dodge Durango (and Anchorman 2 as a side note). Dental ads are no different. You must have focus in what you promote. Marketing too many services at once can and will dilute your message, minimizing the effectiveness.
5. Know your audience.
Chrysler knew who to target for the Ron Burgundy ads – younger men in their 20s-40s, the same audience who would go see Anchorman 2. This is also the same audience who would find the Dodge Durango a more appealing purchase. Notice that the ads don’t feature a Dodge Caravan (minivan). It features a masculine Dodge Durango. Sure, some women may want that vehicle, too. And those women who might be interested in purchasing a Dodge Durango are likely the same women who would be excited to go see Anchorman 2. Lesson: Before you begin marketing, make sure your efforts appeal to the proper audience. Are you using Comic Sans font to promote cosmetic dentistry to women? Or are you using a sophisticated font for pediatric dentistry?
6. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
The best thing about these commercials is that Dodge never takes itself too seriously. They are having a blast and it shows. They fully understand that there are a million SUVs out there. But what they want you to see is that they understand you and where you are coming from. There are several hundred thousand dentists across the U.S. There may be several in your city, or on your block for that matter. The dentist who can connect with his or her patient base is the one who will rise above the other practices.
Next time you are putting together your marketing plan, think: What Would Ron Burgundy Do?