(Cheap) Ryan Reynolds is promoting root beer floats

A&W Restaurants found a less costly alternative to the ubiquitous star in campaign by Cornett

Published On
Jul 27, 2022

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Hollywood star and entrepreneur Ryan Reynolds is ubiquitous in advertising these days, whether for any of the consumer brands he has a hand in (Aviation Gin, Mint Mobile), for his ad tech software partner MNTN or his soccer club Wrexham FC. 

So when Kentucky fast food chain A&W Restaurants wanted to promote its month-long root giveaway for National Root Beer Float Day, it decided to borrow some of the actor's celebrity wattage—by finding a somewhat cheaper alternative.

Enter Ryan Reynolds, interim editor at the Evansville Courier & Press, who has previously tweeted about being mistaken for Reynolds on Twitter.  He gamely agreed to appear in a video for the brand, running across social platforms including Instagram and TikTok

While this Reynolds may not look anything like his namesake, he turns out to be a natural in front of the camera, suitably funny and disparaging about famous Reynolds—"Save some headlines for the rest of us, Deadpool," he quips.

The campaign, by Cornett, is reminiscent of when U.S. professor John Lewis, who people often cite on Twitter after mistaking him for the British retailer, appeared in a Christmas ad for Twitter itself. 

And Taco Bell has also used the celebrity namesake idea, in a 2014 ad featuring different people called Ronald McDonald. 

As well as being fun, it's all for a good cause, encouraging those who sign up for the giveaway to donate to Disabled American Veterans.

“I don’t want to sound like an out-of-touch Hollywood egomaniac,” said Reynolds (the Kentucky-based one) in a statement, “but my name commands a lot of attention. I'm just glad I could help put some of that attention where it really belongs—on A&W's phenomenal root beer floats and the amazing work of the Disabled American Veterans charity."