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Ryan Reynolds and brand reputation

We need to talk about Ryan. Actor, comedian, and now brand marketing aficionado. Well kind of. He’s taken an interesting turn in his career; from small straight to tv movies to massive blockbusters, with some questionable turns. Now he has turned his attention to business investment and brand marketing.

By all logical thinking, having the merc with the mouth, Deadpool, as your brand spokesperson would not be the smartest move. You could potentially be on the path to lose more customers than you gain. So how does Ryan Reynolds increase brand marketing and why is he so good at it?

He doesn’t market the brand, he markets himself instead.

What makes the way Ryan markets the brands he works with so interesting is that he isn’t marketing the brand. You don’t watch the videos and advertising he makes for the brand, you watch them for him. Much like any other celebrity endorsement, you are attracted by the person and not the brand.

But because Ryan has a varied past of movies, he wasn’t originally an r-rated superhero, everyone has their own opinion of him and he is very open about his personal life he comes across as a very friendly, family, person. This immediately means that viewers are less worried about his association with Deadpool and focus more on his comedic value and what they know about him.

This is the initial pull for people, from a psychological point of view they see the husband, father, and comedic actor instead of his most popular and violent character. The popularity he has already gained through his movies and antics already gives him a good base to make whatever he does turn to gold. But that isn’t all.

He’s an incredibly creative person

He’s spent years writing movies and one liners, he’s gotten used to how people react to particular things and can create short commercials that can suit the brands he works with. All of them feature his flair for fun and laughs.

He uses mostly the same formulas throughout all of his advertising and the key reasons it works is because he’s either written it well or he stars in it. We are already expecting a classic Ryan Reynolds advert and thus far he hasn’t failed.

An example of one of Ryan’s marketing ideas. Courtesy of Patton Oswalt, shows how well he can get people talking.

An example of Ryan's brand - a photo of a billboard advertising Deadpool featuring a skull, and poo emoji with an L on the end.

The adverts are written to be like his movies just in short form. If you watch the feature films he’s in, they run in the same way and it’s no surprise they work as well as they do. Because he has the years of getting used to how people react to things.

Who else has succeeded like this?

As far as I’ve seen, no other celebrity has succeeded in this kind of space the way Ryan has. What he brings is his uniqueness to the marketing world and this type of marketing usually only lives inside a brand persona, ala innocent drinks, and very rarely makes it to screen from celebrities through adverts.

Now that it’s been done, I also think it would be hard for anyone else to follow. Everyone will now be seen as a copycat, you’d need to work with Ryan or come up with your own way of doing things otherwise it just won’t work.

But marketing is all about understanding successful ideas and adapting them. Now that it’s been done it’s about learning why it works and altering it to make it better. All I can say is well done Ryan for being incredibly good at what you do.

I’ve previously spoken about Wes Anderson, another celebrity with a signature style although it focused more on image and colour but it might be of interest.