Diageo buys Aviation Gin-and with it, Ryan Reynolds’ creative talents
Diageo has scooped up Ryan Reynolds-backed Aviation Gin and its parent company Davos Brands in a $660 million deal. The acquisition gives the liquor giant one of the fastest-growing brands in the super-premium gin segment. But perhaps just as importantly, the deal brings the creative talents of Reynolds, who’s brought widespread attention to Aviation via hilarious social media-fueled campaigns for the gin.
A Diageo spokeswoman confirmed to Ad Age that “Ryan will continue to be very closely involved in creative and marketing plans for Aviation” and that his agency, Maximum Effort Marketing, “will also continue to work with Ryan and the Davos team.”
“A little over two years ago, I became an owner of Aviation Gin because I love the taste of Aviation more than any other spirit,” the actor said in a statement today. “What I didn’t expect was the sheer creative joy learning a new industry would bring. Growing the brand with my company, Maximum Effort Marketing, has been among the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever been involved with. I want to thank Diageo for their incredible team and passion. We’re so excited for the next chapter of Aviation Gin, which, I promise, will require just as little reading.”
Aviation’s majority owner, Davos Brands, also markets Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal and TYKU Sake, which are all part of the Diageo acquisition. But Aviation is the clear star. It grew sales volume by more than 100 percent last year, according to Diageo. Some of that growth is undoubtedly related to the awareness Reynolds brought the gin via viral campaigns like one late last year that spoofed a widely mocked Peloton ad. Reynolds and his Maximum Effort shop quickly convinced the actress who played the so-called “Peloton wife” to shoot a video that showed her drowning her sorrows with friends—a-not-so-veiled shot at the original ad, which critics slammed for insinuating that the woman’s husband gifted her the bike to encourage her to work out more.