Earlier this week, adult-beverage giant Diageo announced a deal to acquire New-York-based Davos brands for as much as $610 million; Diageo will pay $335 million upfront, with an additional $275 million possible depending on how the brands perform over the next 10 years.
You've probably never heard of Davos Brands.
But I'm willing to bet you've heard of the best-known brand in their portfolio: Aviation Gin.
According to Wikipedia, "House Spirits Distillery sold the Aviation American Gin brand to New York-based distributor Davos Brands, LLC, in 2016, but as of early 2018 it continues to be distilled in Portland, by House Spirits."
When I tweeted this news yesterday, a Creative Director friend of mine sent me a direct message that read, "We pitched Davos a couple years back. It was hilarious because they were three people in a 800 sqr foot nyc office."
But something interesting happened in February 2018: beloved actor Ryan Reynolds acquired a stake in the company and became its Creative Director.
That's when the fun started, and we got to see ads like this...
Wait... is this entire post a love-letter to Ryan Reynolds?
In a way, yes.
But not because he's a handsome, hilarious movie-star who played two superheroes.
It's because he continues to help bring original, memorable, laugh-out-loud pieces of creative to life.*
After watching these spots for Aviation Gin, it's quite possible you thought, "I'm going to have to try this thing and see if it's as good as Reynolds says it is!" It's very possible you'll follow through on that thought the next time you're shopping for alcohol. I did.
That's the power of creativity.
Great creative can help build great brands, and great brands help build great businesses.
Great creative doesn't have to be funny. This ad for Sick Kids hospital from a few years back certainly isn't. Neither is this hot-off-the-press ad for Kruger paper products. (Yes, I'm calling an ad for paper towels and toilet paper "great creative"... watch it and tell me you disagree.)
Great creative doesn't have to feature a celebrity; that's a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have.
Great creative does have to start with a strong, strategic consumer insight. It often needs a team of talented people to bring it to life. And it requires a willingness to take risks, because truly creative ideas aren't always going to work.
But when they work, boy-oh-boy do they work.
Just ask Ryan Reynolds.
* What's perhaps even more impressive is that these Aviation Gin spots -- in addition to hilarious spots for the Deadpool franchise and for Mint Mobile (in which Reynolds also owns a stake) -- were all created by an agency that Reynolds co-founded and co-owns!. Clearly, there's a reason Reynolds made Fast Company's 2020 Most Creative People in Business list.