AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — When you've got the smallest marketing budget of the Detroit Three automakers, you have to take risks to get your TV spots noticed.
That's why Olivier Francois, Chrysler's marketing chief, gambles a lot. He's following successful ads featuring rapper Eminem and movie star Clint Eastwood with a pitch from a fictitious character — egotistical airhead television anchorman Ron Burgundy from the 2004 movie "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy."
And this time, Francois got the talent to pitch a refurbished version of the Dodge Durango SUV for free. Paramount Pictures, he said, bartered work on the commercials by actor Will Farrell, who plays Burgundy, in exchange for the promotion in the ads of an "Anchorman" sequel that is due out in December.