Ryan Reynolds Has an Idea for Brands Struggling With Connected TV

Dec 7, 2021 3 Min Read

Don’t just be jealous of Maximum Effort, the creative agency founded by Ryan Reynolds. With new owner MNTN’s bundled media and creative service, they could make your next ad.

The software platform is rolling out a Creative-as-a-Subscription (CaaS) service, introduced by Reynolds (who remains onboard as MNTN’s chief creative officer) in an ad that dropped today.

“The process of creating and distributing TV ads can be fractured and frustrating,” said MNTN CEO Mark Douglas in a statement. “Creative-as-a-Subscription is a solution to this very real pain point, a way for brands to get great creative on the fastest-growing performance TV platform in a way that’s simple and affordable.”

According to eMarketer, U.S. upfront ad spend was expected to surpass $4 billion this year, an almost 50% YoY increase from 2020. But the numbers for CTV advertising dwarf that total: U.S. advertisers will spend $14.44 billion on connected TV in 2021, an increase of 59.9% YoY. U.S. residents are expected to spend 80 minutes per day with subscription over-the-top (OTT) video, up 8.7% from 2020.

MNTN is positioning its self-service platform as foundational to CTV advertising by promising to make it easier for brands to evaluate paid search and social campaigns. Its CaaS is meant to mimic the general Software-as-a-Service model that allows platforms to lock in dollars for an extended annual and multiyear period, rather than one-off deals.

Thanks to the tension between traditional creative agencies and relatively new models like CTV, the opportunity to produce TV creative without investing in anything but their specific media goals is an appealing premise for MNTN’s business. And then there’s the advantage of having the colorful and credible presence of Reynolds promoting it.

“I genuinely love marketing, but I don’t think it has to be so overloaded with overthink, data deluge and process,” Reynolds said in a statement. “That’s what CaaS is. A simpler, faster and hopefully funner way to get great creative with less of the soul-sucking parts. 

“For about 20 years, the advertising discussion has been around digital and data, with TV creatives feeling a bit antiquated,” he added. “MNTN has built a software platform that embraces digital and data for TV, and now we have a new way to think about, and build, creative.”

Giving ‘maximum effort’ to the masses

Customers can work with the growing network of agencies and production companies that MNTN has struck partnerships with, or with their own existing agencies of record. Brands that spend a significant amount on MNTN will have the option of having their ads and production done by Maximum Effort.

MNTN acquired Maximum Effort Marketing in June, with Reynolds as CCO. “We genuinely think Connected TV presents a once-in-a-generation chance to redefine what a ‘TV ad’ means, and we can’t wait to get to work,” he told Adweek at the time.

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