Companies that create advertisements to air during the Super Bowl typically spend enormous amounts of money to do so. And that's before paying for the actual media time during the game, which this year, was reported to be $7 million for 30 seconds.
Of course, most companies don't have Ryan Reynolds as a part-owner and spokesperson.
I love this very fun, very simple spot for a few reasons.
First, it's very on-brand for both Ryan Reynolds and Aviation Gin... which from a brand standpoint, are increasingly one and the same. Nobody will actually believe Reynolds was making up this contest as he went along, but that's not at all necessary: with his well-known playful, irreverent personality, the "let's figure something out right now" schtick works.
Second, I love how Reynolds continues his masterful tradition of promoting more than one of his business ventures in a single commercial effort. In this case, it's the not-so-subtle "as you know, I've been spending a lot of time with... other football" comment referencing his Wrexham AFC co-ownership with actor Rob McElhaney. When you have a financial interest in multiple businesses and you're able to cross-promote them in each other's advertisements, that's a great way to maximize awareness all around.
Third, it's a creative idea that ties Aviation Gin to the Super Bowl in a fun way (2GinuteWarning.com) where a natural association wouldn't otherwise exist. Don't believe me? Head out to any bar this evening to watch the game and take note of what most of the venue's patrons are drinking... it's probably not going to be gin. Beer tends to reign supreme at the Super Bowl, yet Aviation Gin has found a clever way to get into the game.
And fourth, the return on investment for this spot is likely to be astoundingly good.
According to Variety, 100 million people are expected to watch this year's Super Bowl. (How many are watching for the football game, how many are watching for the great commercials, and how many are watching for the Rihanna concert at half-time? That's anybody's guess.) The sky-high viewership is why so many companies are willing to spend such ridiculous amounts of money to air their commercials during the broadcast.
But does this Aviation Gin spot even need to air during the actual game?
That's because, as of the writing of this post, Ryan Reynolds has 21 million followers on Facebook, 21.1 million followers on Twitter, 21.3 million followers on TikTok, and a whopping 47.7 million followers on Instagram. (Somewhat ironically given his incredible business and marketing savvy, Reynolds "only" has 1.6 million followers on LinkedIn.)
Do the math, and just on the "Big Five" social media platforms, that's 112.7 million fans who follow the beloved Canadian actor. Even when you consider the inevitable cross-platform duplication (i.e. I follow Reynolds on all platforms, and I'm sure I'm not alone in doing so) and the fact that not all fans and followers will see a given post without a paid boost, Reynolds has the type of reach that could make a Super Bowl ad spend unnecessary.
Combine Reynolds' reach with the fact that this spot would have cost very little to make (i.e. the costs to produce this commercial would consist of a bottle of Gin, a bar backdrop, a camera crew, and Ryan's time) and that's a recipe for some strong ROI.
The most expensive part about this commercial is likely the "Official Gin sponsor of the National Football League" designation you might have noticed at the very end of the ad...
I don't know how much it cost for Aviation Gin to be designated the official gin sponsor of the NFL, but I'm sure it wasn't insignificant.
However, a formal partnership with the NFL is the only way a company would earn the legal right to use the words "Super Bowl" in an advertisement (let alone offer tickets to next year's game as a contest prize), so that's the cost of officially participating in the Big Game.
I'll be curious to learn if this spot does, in fact, air during tonight's Super Bowl broadcast, and how many people will visit 2GinuteWarning.com during the brief contest entry window.
I'd encourage you to check out the website now and see what the fuss is about... but if you read the fine print on the ad, it says, "Entry may only occur during the official 2 Minute warning(s). Actual duration of 2 minute warning may not be 2 minutes."
And it seems they're not kidding; here's what you see if you try to visit the website now...
It's too early to say whether this fun, simple spot will rank among the best commercials aired during (or around) Super Bowl LVII, but in my view, it could be a strong contender.
P.S. This post was published on Sunday afternoon before Super Bowl LVII begins.
P.P.S. If you didn't watch the Super Bowl (or were watching a Canadian feed) and want to see the ads that aired, you can find them here on YouTube.
P.P.P.S. In previous years, the dpThoughts posts published immediately before the Super Bowl have focused on my thoughts about the ads released prior to the big game. (You can see what I mean here.) With my move to a once-per-week format for my email subscribers, however, that made much less sense to do this year.
Here's the good news: I still plan to do a "round-up" of my favourite spots, and if you're an email subscriber who doesn't want to wait until NEXT Monday to read it, I highly encourage you to do the following:
1. Go here.
2. Click here...
3. Sign up for the website, which takes less than a minute.
4. There's no step 4... you're done! From that point onward, you'll get an email whenever I publish a post and you won't have to wait for your Monday newsletter!