The Caples Awards was founded by copywriter and New Yorker, Andi Emerson, and every year, the Andi Emerson Award is given by the President of the jury to honor a person who has gone beyond the usual in espousing creativity in advertising.
This year, 2023 jury President Laura Jordan Bambach has announced her nominee for the honour is marketing/advertising/genius: Ryan Reynolds.
“He has a creative freedom the rest of us can only dream of,” says Bambach.
“I guess it helps that you’ve been voted People magazine’s Sexiest Man in The World and you’re a Hollywood star; your clients are going to be respectful.”
She added, “Mind you, it helps when you’re also the client, which Ryan is as the owner of Aviation Gin and Mint Mobile. Even so, he has brought a much-needed freshness to advertising. He is truly the creative’s creative.”
This is not Mr. Reynolds’s first award.
In 2010 he was named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.
In 2016 he won Best Actor at the Academy of Science Fiction & Fantasy Films for ‘Deadpool’.
In 2021 he won the MTV Movie Awards award for Best Comedic Performance (in ‘Free Guy’.)
In 2022 he won the People’s Icon Award at the People’s Choice Awards.
And so on…
So the idea of giving him a gong from a show he almost certainly will never have heard of may seem ridiculous.
As well as being a Hollywood star and an entrepreneur, Mr. Reynolds is also the co-founder of Maximum Effort, a film production company cum marketing agency, where he is also the lead copywriter.
“I love TV ads,” he once said. “Watching them, making them, being in them.”
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) August 10, 2022
On his showreel is ‘Peloton Wife’, a spoof of the Christmas 2019 commercial in which a woman is given an exercise bike by her husband. Conceived, written, and produced in 36 hours, this ad for Aviation Gin got four million YouTube views in twelve hours.
What characterizes them all? They are both creative, and they are funny.
The 90-second commercial for Match.com featuring Satan in a relationship with the (hellish) year 2020 is a mini-masterpiece of humorous insight into how most people felt about the lockdown. At a time when most brands were afraid to be anything other than earnest and a little bit woke, Reynolds brought much-needed laughter to advertising.
It helps when the copywriter owns the brands he’s writing ads for.
But, actually, that’s another reason The Caples Awards want to recognize Ryan Reynolds’s major contribution to advertising.
He understands how advertising builds brands.
In February 2018 he acquired a stake in an obscure gin distiller in Oregon. In August 2020, Aviation Gin was sold to Diageo for $610 million.
“An inspiration to agencies and an exemplar to CMOs, in showing that clever, witty, branded advertising can, and does, have a major impact on brands’ bottom line.”
He has repeated the process with Mint Mobile, acquiring a 25% stake in 2019. In March 2023 Mint was bought by T-Mobile for a reported $1.3 billion.
Mr. Reynolds is said to have profited quite well from the deal.
But back to the ad work…
The ads he has made for both those companies have turned them into brands and made them attractive to purchasers.
“Whether he chooses to accept the award or not, The Caples Awards honour him as one of their own.”
As he said at Cannes Lions in 2022, the highlight talk of the week, advertising should be fun. Both clients and agencies should spend less time worrying about what might happen and just do something.
The Caples have always lionised campaigns with commercial intent and in this regard, Mr. Reynolds is a worthy winner of the Andi Emerson Award, as an inspiration to agencies and an exemplar to CMOs, in showing that clever, witty, branded advertising can, and does, have a major impact on brands’ bottom line.
This is not just leveraging his celebrity. Ryan Reynolds is not playing at this. His success is the result of much hard work as well as natural talent.
Whether he chooses to accept the award or not, The Caples Awards honour him as one of their own.
Previous winners have included David Droga, founder of Droga5; Pablo Alzugaray, founder of Shackleton Spain (now Accenture Song); and Julian ‘Dougie’ Douglas, Worldwide CEO of VCCP and founder of BRiM, Black Representation in Marketing.
To learn more, visit The Caples Awards.