February 1, 2022

Social media mindset: The Ryan Reynolds effect

Elizabeth Elmer

Social Media Strategist

There are a few advertisers that come to mind when you think of the all-time greats - Bernbach, Ogilvy, Burnett . . . Reynolds?

That's right, folks, Ryan Reynolds – star of big-screen blockbusters and bombs like Deadpool and The Green Lantern, respectively – could be on his way to joining the ranks of top-tier names in advertising thanks to his production/advertising company, Maximum Effort.

Maximum Effort's unique approach has not only netted widespread appeal among consumers but has also won it multiple write-ups and awards from organizations like AdWeek, AdAge, and CLIO. What's more, CTV company MNTN has acquired Maximum Effort. Now, operating as a winning combination of quick wit and qualitative data, the company can activate high-performing ads on a dime.

But what makes Maximum Effort's campaigns tick? According to executives at the newly combined company, a social media mindset is the engine behind it all. For MNTN, a "social media mindset" is essentially applying tactics that work on social platforms to a CTV campaign. 

It boils down to three strategies that will effectively work across the board to help power relevant campaigns that resonate with a target audience – don't be afraid to be topical, make it memorable, and activate it in a timely manner. 

Don't be afraid to be topical

Monitor social platforms to determine key trends and emerging areas of interest that could be relevant opportunities to engage with. 

  • Allow teams to be quick-turn. Rather than requiring a lengthy approval process, allowing your team to strategize, design, and execute quickly is key – especially if you want your message to maintain relevance within today's social media life cycle. 
  • Inject your brand into the conversation - determine areas of interest that make sense for your brand to speak, then speak up. There are multiple avenues for brands to communicate directly with consumers nowadays. Utilizing a combination of social listening and self-serve ad platforms, relaying on-trend messages to an opted-in audience is easier than ever. 

Make it memorable 

Effective branding combined with tailor-made, top-of-mind messaging can help deliver your content in unique and surprising ways. Make your content something worth talking about outside the medium it's executed. 

  • The best kinds of ads are smart, fun, and unexpected - make sure that even if the subject matter of your ad is stupid, there's still a level of intelligence to the way you're presenting it. Maximum Effort's work with Mint Mobile and Rick Moranis is a great example of how keeping an eye on the cultural landscape and leaning into an unexpected premise can result in a timely ad that aligns with social media principles.
  • Don't leave ideating up to creatives alone – executives at Maximum Effort insist that including media members alongside creatives in brainstorming sessions enhances their work. They know the ins and outs of the platforms where the ads appear. That knowledge allows them to develop innovative, memorable approaches to executing content.

Activating in a timely manner

Social media gives people the chance to react in real-time, and with the wealth of quick turn, self-serve advertising solutions out there, your ad efforts should reflect that. 

  • Adaptability is key – a nimble approach to audience strategy and activation can elevate creative campaigns; like social, creating relevant content, and aligning with ideal consumer sets via niche targeting. This results in both better branding moments and delivery of your messages in the most effective way possible.
  • Beat the bloat – don't overdo it, and don't overthink it. Once your team is happy with the final product, and you have a strategy for measurement in place, activate it. Keeping timelines tight ensures that the work doesn't result in a "too many cooks in the kitchen" situation.

While the advice isn't new, this emphasis on maintaining cultural relevance and ensuring activations get executed within a short time frame do help to keep Maximum Effort's campaigns within the cultural zeitgeist. This subversion of how most marketers have worked – taking social media tactics and translating them to traditional means rather than the opposite – has been effective. And, it presents a new model that agencies can learn from. Moving forward, utilizing a social media mindset – AKA staying topical, making it memorable, and activating quickly – are must-have strategies in every advertiser's arsenal. For more information, take a look at AdWeek's talk with executives at MNTN and Maximum Effort. And for creative activations from a company always learning from the latest, Curiosity is here for you.

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