Brittlestar’s jealousy of Ryan Reynolds gives OPH a vaccination boost

Over the course of the pandemic, Ottawa Public Health’s social media team has won praise and lots of likes for its quirky, playful way of communicating important information at a stressful time (see the sex tweet, right).

And on Friday it posted another tweet that is—in our books—a winner for delivering an important reminder about getting a Covid shot, using two of our favourite Canadian “creators”: Stewart Reynolds (AKA Brittlestar), who we’ve been a fan of since his tribute video to Zellers; and Ryan Reynolds (AKA Canada’s Favourite Marketer™) who we’ve been a fan of since Two Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place.

Only Brittlestar contributes to the new tweet, which is supposed to be a response to last year’s contribution from Reynolds. In that tweet, Reynolds claimed to be the Bruce behind OPH’s viral Super Bowl-inspired post that read, in part: “WHAT AN AMAZING #SuperBowlLV!! Congratulations to the (*Bruce, make sure to put the winning team’s name here)”

In the new tweet, Brittlestar claims to be Bryce, Bruce’s very jealous brother, who’s annoyed that, despite his glaring gaffe, Bruce is still more popular, even with his parents (cue Canadian comedian Colin Mochrie as the father).

After comically whining about Bruce for a while, Bryce/Brittlestar says: “I even saw Bruce got boosted now. When it is going to be Bryce’s turn?” which sets up the key message that anyone can drop in to get their shot without an appointment.

“Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that messaging fatigue is a factor which can impact the overall effectiveness of messaging, so we continuously strive to find new ways to engage with the community,” Phil Jansson, OPH’s program manager, communications and community engagement, told us.

That approach made the original Bruce post OPH’s most successful social media post, with more than 4 million impressions and 420,000 views.

The goal, said Jansson, is to be creative and engaging to reach as broad an audience as possible to “normalize and promote Covid-19 vaccination through our social media channels.”

“We would like to thank Bruce and Bryce (and their wonderful dad, Colin) for graciously offering their time free of charge to help promote these important public health messages,” he said. “Note: to our knowledge Ryan Reynolds and Stewart Reynolds are not, in fact, related.”

We actually confirmed that one earlier: They know each other, but they are not related.

David Brown