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.

And The Best Picture Oscar Goes to Samsung

It’s certainly not without controversy, but Samsung’s integration into the Oscar broadcast, while flatfooted at times, did result in one brilliant piece of brand engagement:

Dennis Ryan, Olson, Advertising

Yep, that’s over two and a half million retweets, a selfie record which is what Ellen Degeneres actively lobbied for during the broadcast. Which perfectly demonstrates the shareworthy power of celebrity. Particularly that unique brand of star power that US magazine has plied for years with their “Stars–They’re Just Like Us!” photo galleries (great expression on Kevin Spacey, by the way).

Of all the thousands of product placements surrounding this live global event, the simple act of snapping photos during a once-in-a-lifetime moment has never been leveraged like this. Obvious, perhaps, but brilliantly done.

Of course happening live and in the moment, it wasn’t perfect. As captured in this photo taken by YouTube celebrity Harry Clayton-Wright, not everyone made it into the frame. Sorry, Ms. Minnelli.

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But neither the photo’s limited frame size nor the potential of bot accounts inflating the retweet numbers constitute the real controversy for Samsung. That resides in this tweet Ellen posted before the broadcast started. It’s pretty much just a fan tweet from her personal account, a quick backstage snap with Channing Tatum.

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But check the bottom right note on that tweet. That’s not a Samsung Galaxy photo. D’oh!

Expect their PR team to be addressing this later today, pointing out how that photo is dismally under lit and demonstrates the iPhone’s tendency toward soft focus.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson