“Brands are wonderful,” Ryan Reynolds told the audience at the Cannes Lions festival last week. “I grew up adoring and loving commercials.”
It is rare to find such a straightforward declaration of love for advertising these days, especially from someone within the industry. Perhaps it is down to the fact that Reynolds only recently entered the marketing world, having previously forged global fame as an actor, that he can be so unashamedly joyful about it all.
It turns out that Reynolds also had some astute observations to make about the industry too, which he shared with a packed audience in Cannes, where he was introduced as the person that most festival goers wanted to hear from.
This is surely in part due to the Hollywood glow that comes with Reynolds, who has gained fame as both an actor and producer of films including Deadpool and Deadpool 2, and most recently The Adam Project. But he has also made a significant impact in advertising in recent years, via a series of witty spots for brands he has invested in – including Aviation Gin and Mint Mobile – as well as creating successful ads for others, including Match.com.
For Reynolds, his two different careers fed into each other, with his film production company Maximum Effort “inadvertently” evolving into a marketing company during his ten-year struggle to get the first Deadpool movie made. Even after getting studio sign off, the budget for the film was low, and the team had to “make every dollar feel like ten”.