Ryan Reynolds + Dogs = Ratings Gold

The Westminster Dog Show is pretty much the biggest event in the canine world. It began Monday morning and culminates this evening when some Havanese or Whippet or Shetland Sheepdog will be crowned “Best in Show.” You can’t begin to imagine the brushing involved, but that’s not the point.

The point is that the Westminster Dog Show airs on FS 1, FS2, and the Fox Sports App. And they’d really like you to watch.

Enter Ryan Reynolds …

Fox paid nothing to have Ryan Reynolds promote their event. That’s because Reynolds bought a stake in his Portland based spirit early in 2018, and ever since, has lent his considerable charm and wit to promoting it.

Reynold’s brilliant approach to video-based brand expansion for Aviation Gin uses clever cross promotions and collaborations with everyone from Samsung to Virgin Atlantic to Peloton … or actually, just the actress from that much maligned Peloton commercial. He doesn’t buy media, he earns it. And more importantly, he earns audiences. So advertisers like Fox Sports eagerly sign up to partner with him.

Fox Sports wins, Aviation wins, and those of us who just like a smart-assed charmer? We win too.

These simple, clever, quickly-produced brand videos, keep both Reynolds and his investment top of mind with his gin-drinking audience.

Don’t believe me? Check out some of these YouTube comments …

Well played you clever Canadian. Well played.

Playing Well With Celebrities

If you’re lucky, you occasionally get the opportunity to work with celebrity talent.  Many feel conflicted about working in advertising but one over-riding concern almost all of them share, whether they are entertainers or athletes, is they don’t want to look silly.  And they want the spot to be a success.

That comes down to creating roles and situations that fit them specifically.  If you think the same spot will work with either Amy Pohler or Emma Stone, chances are it will showcase neither.  Supercuts hired the largely bald Terry Bradshaw as a spokesperson which presented a challenge, but our work improved ten fold when we learned he delivers all dialogue by shouting.  No kidding.

Harvey Keitel?  Very low maintenance.  And pitch perfect.  And yes, “schmendrick” was in the script…

Uncle Jesse?  Taye Gibbs?  Interestingly, a lot of clients insisted on attending this shoot…

Even a celebrity voiceover matters.  Getting this client to understand the importance of frivolity made Fred Willard’s voiceover particularly effective here.