Aviation American Gin has been sold to Diageo for a little over R10 billion.
That's a hellava lot of money for a 14 year-old gin brand, but Ryan Reynolds was a significant shareholder and Davos Brands used his immense celebrity star power to drive the advertising messaging of the brand to stratospheric heights.
Here's Ryan explaining the process which creates Aviation Gin from a few years back, just to get us all in the mood...
Then of course..on a side note from Ryan... there was also that lady from that funny Peloton ad (the one who was lambasted on the Internet for participating in such a socially disagreeable commercial...tsk tsk) was also masterfully recruited by Aviation to add even more flavour to the brand.
The astronomical sales price of a premium liquor brand, courtesy of the endorsement and ownership of a Hollywood celebrity, is not new; George Clooney's tequila brand, Casamigos, was sold in 2017 for $1Bn.
George Clooney obviously has a proven track record of being able to move product, thanks to his long-standing association with Nespresso.
Jumping from that to a situation whereby he had a direct stake in the brand that gets punted, seems pretty obvious.
In conclusion then, there is no doubt that Ryan Reynolds' involvement in Aviation was a large part of its success, BUT it wasn't just that he is the face of the brand - it's that he is totally believable as the face of the brand.
You really do get the sense that he is completely emotionally-invested in the success of the business - and this for me is what really makes the difference. The same can be said for George Clooney and his tequila. They clearly have a love for the brands that they're supporting.
It's either that - or they are far better actors than we have ever really given them credit for.
So the moral of the case study then is – 'if a hot shot celebrity [and let's be clear, you want a serious A-lister here] knocks on your door and says they really love your product and brand...sell them a stake in the company and get them to share their love with their audience.'