The One Thing Ryan Reynolds Says Hollywood Has Taught Him About Business Marketing: Storytelling |

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Across his businesses, Reynolds uses storytelling as a lens to bring relatability to brand marketing. “I don’t invent gin, I didn’t invent low-cost wireless. You know, these are companies that had tremendous potential. And, you know, really just needed awareness,” Reynolds said. 

While Hollywood tends to throw big budgets at directors, it doesn’t always–and in those moments your true creativity can shine, he added. “I love constraint, you know, I love doing more with less. It forces your imagination to expand, it forces you to tell stories in different ways. It’s one of the reasons I love working with small and medium-size businesses … There’s so much more story to tell there when you’re sort of forced to do more with so much less,” he said.

Perhaps as a nod to constraints, ​Reynolds often appears in the ads he produces for his companies, as well as helps write and creatively direct them. He has cast Steve-O from Jackass in a new ad for MNTN’s television marketing program, David Beckham in a  Deadpool ad, and even his own mom in an ad for Aviation Gin, for instance. 

“Most of what we do really is [out of] necessity … A lot of times we’re working really quickly, working with limited budgets, but we’re also acknowledging and playing with the cultural landscape. So, that’s a huge part of what we do, we try to create marketing that’s moving at the exact same speed as culture.” 

Enterprise brands, he said, tend to plot messaging nine to 10 months out, but smaller companies, which aren’t as bureaucratic, can act swiftly, responding to culture changes with greater agility. “I don’t know that you are going to be as effective as when you’re moving at the exact same speed as culture,” Reynolds said. 

So how do you pinpoint shifts? “There’s always that one person or several people who put out a tweet that is like, you know, liked by 10 million people that sort of encapsulates what everyone’s feeling about this moment that’s happening. Now if you can add production to that and do that at relatively the same speed as someone, say, tweeting it, your brand becomes the conversation,” Reynolds said. Exhibit A, below.

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