Will Ron Burgundy prove to tech firms that specs are boring?
Will Ferrell's "Anchorman" character returns to advertise the Dodge Durango. Chrysler insists that though the truck's technological advances are great, being entertaining is more important.
Nerds love details. So much so that nerds can kiss them, live with them, and marry them. Yes, without divorcing.
Real people are slightly different. They sometimes find details overwhelming, confusing, or just plain dull.
Still, when it comes to advertising their wares, tech companies can't help wanting real people to know about the very fine motion sensor or the gesture-controlled gyroscope thingy.
Chrysler has decided to hold hands with Ron Burgundy, in an attempt to prove that details will never trump entertainment.
You might remember Burgundy. Played by Will Ferrell, he was the star of "Anchorman," a movie that some regarded as the funniest of 2004. (And, gosh, there's a sequel coming out.)
Chrysler believes that, in order to get people excited about its new Dodge Durango, Burgundy must be given free rein to joke about every single technological detail in the car.
It has already released a couple of ads to give you some flavor of its intentions. However, more significant are the words of Chrysler CMO Olivier Francois to Ad Age: "We need to be super-engaging. But we also need to be very entertaining. Otherwise, you run the risk of being boring, speaking about the horsepower, the Uconnect system, and the fuel efficiency."
These tech specs might fascinate some, goes Francois' argument. But real people's eyes might turn a touch milky.
He added: "The idea of the campaign is very simple: hiring a guy who comes from the 1970s. And he's going to look at our advanced technology through the eyes of a guy who comes from the '70s."
It may or may not work. But the sensibility is surely sound. There are tech brands that seem -- at least along an emotional parameter -- a little in the wilderness. Lenovo comes to mind. As do Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft.
They make good products that don't sufficiently capture the imagination of the real-worldians. Perhaps that's why, in Lenovo's case, it's rumored that the company is.
The difficulty, of course, is that when you put your faith in the hands of loony creative people, you have no guarantee of success.
However, it so often seems that when you put your faith in the hands of those who want to recite specs in a serious and excited manner, there might be a guarantee of failure.