Is Ryan Reynolds getting meta with his latest commercial?

—”I’m in everything” quips Ryan Reynolds in his latest ad. But in this week’s Redmond Review, Craig Redmond wonders if the star is winkingly acknowledging his market saturation, or signalling his intention to step back. — 

Oh Ryan. You literally have the world by the short hairs. All of humankind, regardless of gender, demographic designation, sexual orientation, racial origin, religious or political affiliation, or even NHL team devotion, want one of two things: We want to be you, or we want to be with you.

So, you chose to take that universal pheromone phenomenon and channel it into the power of persuasion, establishing one of the industry’s most talked about marketing machines, named after your alter ego’s life motto.

You and your Maximum Effort “marketeers” made Aviation Gin famous enough to sell it for $600 million; you made telecom moguls toss in their sleep with your Minty fresh mobile momentum; you hooked up Satan for eternity with a demonic mate; and you even managed to rescue Peloton Girl from the haters, trolls and casting castigators of infomercial infamy.

Couple that commercial success with your tireless philanthropic commitments to everything from Toronto Sick Kids Foundation and Covenant House to food banks in the U.S. and Canada. You seem to sell your soul, and then save it almost simultaneously.

But now comes your latest anti-hero hero.

Sugar Panda, a malnourished, dentally diseased, insomniac junkie of a cartoon character who uses your voice and famously acerbic charm to deride the obvious health benefits of sugar-free cookies. And, like everything your agency does, the HighKey campaign has received “maximum” marketing attention. Because like almost everything your agency does, it features Ryan Reynolds.

Which brings us to the closing line of the new HighKey commercials (“I’m in everything”) and the curiosity-piquing question of whether this could be it for you, Ryan. Are you tipping your hat to your own personal brand’s market saturation? Or is this just another meta-inside, self-deprecating nod to viewers that you are not just bucking the advertising system, you’re fucking with it?

Because like sugar, we can’t cancel you; you’re in everything. Do tell Ryan. Do tell.

Craig Redmond is a Creative Leader with Palmer Stamnes and Co, an independent family of marketing communication companies.