How Portland-Made Aviation Gin Grew With Ryan Reynold as Its Main Face
And subsequently sold it for $610 million
It's not often that a brand and can grow so quickly in a few years.
Before Ryan Reynold even took over the brand in 2018, this gin from Portland was a big brand but not growing at the rate Reynold managed to help.
From 2014 to 2019, it grew at a compounding rate of 18.5%, the fastest of any spirit in the segment. However, in 2019 especially (the time when Reynold took over), it grew volumes by 100%, amounting to 40% of super-premium gin in its category. This meant most of the growth was in the latter part of the years when Reynold joined as a part-owner.
So how did he do it?
What did Ryan Reynolds do that was so great? As we know, he has a great personality on and off camera, so he decided to work around those concepts.
He utilized social media and created viral content, putting Aviation Gin in the majority of his videos, social media feeds, and more.
There is no doubt being a celebrity helps, but there are many case studies of celebrities creating bad press for brands or simply not converting their brand into fruitful successes. Many have even gone bankrupt after making millions from shows and movies.
For Reynolds, he understood that one of his biggest-selling assets is his humor. Hence, he leveraged Youtube and Instagram to help create viral videos and posts that were easily shareable. He did not do anything out of his character and created short advertisements on each of the platforms.
Simply looking at the videos, all of them have millions of views, with a few in the ten of millions of viewers. These have helped grow Aviation Gin into a recognizable brand and backed by Reynold, who already has one of the most positive images within Hollywood.
Ryan Reynold's a marketing genius
It only took him 1–2 years of creating viral content to help grow Aviation Gin’s influence in the market. Usually, it takes longer for a branding strategy to show effect, but it's obvious to see Reynold’s charm has helped grow the company to a huge volume.
Of course, not everyone is a celebrity, but I still love Reynold’s approach to growing a business, especially his involvement.
Too many celebrities expect a massive return for no work, and Reynold showed he was still willing to put in the hours and his face on the brand to make it successful. Similar to how George Clooney grew Nespresso, Reynolds knew he could do something similar.
Today Aviation Gin sold for $610 million To Diageo late last year. Just in a short amount of time, he was able to turn around a large profit.
It will be interesting to see what products he will decide to focus on next with his marketing prowess.