Ron Burgundy's job moonlighting as a Chrysler pitchman is paying off.
The fictional anchorman's campaign for the Dodge Durango has boosted sales of the SUV at AutoNation (AN) by 35 percent, said Mike Jackson, chairman and CEO at the auto dealer company.
"It is interesting to see where a marketing campaign can take what is really an outstanding vehicle that wasn't selling well, and send it into the stratosphere," Jackson told CNBC's " Squawk Box " on Wednesday.
The first commercials from ad agency Wieden+Kennedy featuring Will Ferrell as the lovable but clueless Burgundy were released in early October. The movie character tie-in comes as "Anchorman: The Legend Continues" gets set to make its U.S. debut in two weeks.
"Nothing else changed really other than this outstanding campaign," Jackson said. "Chrysler dreams up this Ron Burgundy campaign, and all of a sudden the Durango is 'the vehicle' to have."
"We have stores that are up as much as 50 percent. I like we're up overall something like 35 percent on the Durango," Jackson said.
-By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere . Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC.
More From CNBC
Ugh! One more Obamacare headache: Rep. Sam Graves
Detroit's next battle: Who foots the bill?
Private job creation jumps, way above expectations