Regular readers of mine will know that my creative marketing top tips aren’t your usual ‘listicles’. My last blog told you to think Bandersnatch. And an oldie, but a goody, encouraged you to be more Hardy and less Scott (Cillit Bang’s Barry Scott was always going to lose to Tom Hardy).

So, following a rather humorous advert, the star carrying the weight of this blog is none other than the man-crush himself… Ryan Reynolds.

Bromance aside, Ryan and I really are quite similar (why are you laughing?). After Deadpool 2, I got myself a gin and tonic. After he finished the film, he got himself a gin… company. And almost a year on from the purchase, Aviation Gin’s newly appointed chairman is now their marketing mascot. I mean if you’ve got it flaunt it!

In his latest onscreen exploits, Reynolds lets us all in on the gin-making process and the all-important secret ingredient… tears. Now there’s a USP you can’t beat, right?!

After watching the ad, the humour continued – in the comments. From “Well it’s Ryan Reynolds, of course, he’s going to be defamatory” to “Deadpool kills a classic”. Wow! Taylor Swift was right people. Haters gonna hate!

Whether this was Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling or Rylan Clark, this ad was going to work regardless of its anchor. Even a posh Little Britain-esque voiceover or Lemony Snicket-style narration would’ve pulled off this entertaining piece of marketing brilliance.

But the real star of the show is the marketing’s underlying principle.

Apart from Gordons’ awful campaign featuring the blasphemous-riddled Chef Ramsay (which was laughable for the wrong reasons), most alcohol brands take themselves far too seriously. To the point where they become borderline pretentious perfume ads.

This is a gargantuan factor behind the advert’s success. As John Hegarty (one of Advertising’s original Mad Men) once said: “when everyone zigs, zag”. In the face of other gin brands, Aviation really is zagging.

The hilarious tone of voice is not limited to the ads. Oh no! Out of office responses are also an opportunity to demonstrate character at Aviation Towers.

When the news of Reynolds’ purchase first broke, Business Insider emailed Ryan. His humour (which some say is Deadpool’s not his – again I disagree) is clear to see in his automated response…

”  Thank you again for your email… If the matter is urgent, please contact my secretary, Bruce, who’ll respond the moment I get a secretary named, Bruce.  “

The purpose of marketing is, and always will be, engage customers. Get them to lean in, laugh, create trust etc. All with the aim of encouraging a purchase.

Even if you’re a B2B marketer, please take a leaf out of Aviation’s book. Take the tie off your marketing. Show your personality. Being light-hearted could help your customers drop their cynical guard too. Humour, satire, sarcasm. Differentiation doesn’t have to be so serious.

At a time when most marketers struggle to engage a prospect for a few feeble seconds, this advertising masterclass had me (and many others) gripped from start to finish.

There’s a big difference between sell mode and story-tell mode. One works. The other… not so much.


On the day of publishing this blog, Aviation’s marketing gurus did it again. Ladies and Gentlemen, the masterclass continues… in ‘Truce’

#FunFact (direct from the horse’s mouth – or to give him his proper title ‘Senior Brand Manager’):

“the bottle tilt and cap flick were improvised”

Adrian Molina
Senior Brand Manager, Aviation American Gin at Davos Brands

Barry Richardson is the Founder & Creative Director of
BRAVO  : :  Creative Marketing Well Done