- Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman are reigniting a decade-long friendly feud for a charitable effort this holiday season. The actors are partnering with Sam's Club on a competition that in the end will raise funds for the SickKids Foundation and Jackman's Laughing Man Foundation, according to details emailed to Marketing Dive.
- Until Dec. 20, consumers can purchase Jackman's Laughing Man Coffee or Reynolds' Aviation Gin at Sam's Club, which the retailer will count as votes toward team Team Ryan or Team Hugh. Consumers who don't want to purchase either beverage product can vote online and enter for a chance to be one of five invitees to an online party with Jackman and Reynolds, the company said.
- The winner of the most votes will earn bragging rights in the pair's decade-long "feud," but the retailer will donate equal amounts to both foundations on Dec. 20. As part of the effort, original content will be released over the next few weeks, starting with two videos titled "Forgiveness" and "Arguing" that will be distributed nationally.
Sam's Club's charity push taps into a playful, long-running feud between Jackman and Reynolds to bolster interest in their individual beverage brands, Laughing Man Coffee and Aviation Gin. The feud dates back to 2009, according to Insider, and the two actors have been posting teasers of their most recent banter on social media. By counting purchases of each product as votes, Sam's Club can drive sales, while ramping up consumer interest in the contest with the chance to win the type of virtual meeting that's surged in popularity during the pandemic that limits in-person interactions.
As Sam's Club teams up with the two actors for a good cause, the retailer has undergone several changes before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The retailer acquired some employees and proprietary technology from the WPP agency Triad in December 2019. Just before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted in-store retail operations in March, Walmart promoted Jamie Iannone from CEO of SamsClub.com to COO of Walmart eCommerce. He left in April to become eBay's CEO. Earlier this month, the company teamed up with DoorDash to implement same-day prescription deliveries to further meet consumer demand for convenient services.
The latest collaboration is among the most recent campaign featuring the actors and their beverage brands. Aviation Gin poked fun at the pre-pandemic Peloton controversy in an ad from December 2019, while National Geographic and Procter & Gamble featured Jackman as part of a documentary series on international issues like extreme poverty in September 2019.
Clarification: A previous version of this story misrepresented Jamie Iannone's tenure as COO of Walmart eCommerce. He left after one month in April for eBay.