- MNTN, the "performance TV" ad tech firm, acquired the Maximum Effort Marketing agency founded by George Dewey and actor Ryan Reynolds, according to an announcement. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- MNTN focuses on making buying and running TV campaigns simpler and more accessible to marketers. Formed in 2018, Maximum Effort has quickly grabbed adland's attention through creative output for brands including Mint Mobile, the telecommunications company in which Reynolds holds a majority stake, and Aviation Gin, the spirits brand the "Deadpool" star sold to Diageo for over $600 million last year.
- The transaction intends to more closely bridge media and creative functions. Maximum Effort will operate as an agency within MNTN and preserve its own identity, with Reynolds serving as chief creative officer of MNTN and Dewey acting as brand chief and remaining president of Maximum Effort, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Maximum Effort Productions, Reynolds' production studio, is not part of the deal, per THR.
MNTN's acquisition of Maximum Effort weds an ad tech platform operating in the booming connected TV (CTV) space to a rising star from the creative side of the industry. Details on what the deal will look like in practice are scant, but the news offers another signal of how the TV landscape is experiencing a shakeup amid the streaming boom and rise in cord-cutting — factors that have diminished the power of traditional media gatekeepers and opened opportunities for companies positioned around disruption.
"The demand for easy-to-use tech and superb, fast-turn creative is certain to climb thanks to an increase in inventory and advertisers new to TV — many of whom can't afford upfronts," the announcement reads. "Independently, our companies have embraced and excelled because of our commitment to simplicity and speed."
MNTN and Maximum Effort said that not much would change regarding their existing relationships with client and agency partners, and that there would be no additional mandates to consider. However, the companies did encourage associates to keep an "open mind" as they push to combine their tech and creative capabilities.
MNTN pitches itself to a wide range of brands that may not have blockbuster TV advertising budgets. It operates a self-serve ad platform that intends to make running and managing TV campaigns more simple, or "as easy as posting on social media," as Reynolds terms it in a tongue-in-cheek video discussing the acquisition with his "twin" brother Gordon — a withering character who's also factored into Aviation Gin marketing.
Reynolds makes frequent appearances in Maximum Effort's output, which has become known for its scrappy, off-the-cuff qualities. Ads for brands like Mint Mobile and Aviation are sometimes turned around in days in response to relevant cultural moments and trending topics on social media. Closely linking with MNTN's solutions will presumably preserve the shop's focus on agility.
With the need for culturally relevance an important factor for agencies these days, Reynolds is not alone in leveraging Hollywood cachet to build a marketing business. Shaq, Tony Hawk, Dwayne Johnson and Pitbull have also put their star power behind agencies.