Over the last few years, Ryan Reynolds has become one of the most skilled and successful celebrity entrepreneurs. He’s managed to use new media effectively and organically, both in the promotion of his various commercial projects (and there are many) and social causes, while maintaining a sense of humour and leaning into the wit and charm that’s one of the most recognisable parts of his personality.
One of the reasons why Ryan’s work has been so effective is because he has diversified his reach. Not that it’s new for western movie stars to engage with audiences overseas, but Ryan is doubling down on that diversity by innovating the way he connects to global audiences. For example, I mentioned a few times last year how Ryan tapped in earlier than almost every other big name western celebrity to the growing international force that is the South Korean entertainment system, appearing on the reality show King of Masked Singer in 2018, before The Masked Singer was franchised in the US; and then on Running Man, one of the most popular reality shows not just in Korea but throughout Asia and in more and more territories because you can access it translated in a variety of different languages on multiple streaming platforms. That was an investment of time, over and above other standard publicity commitments that he made a point of putting in.
And now, even though he can’t travel to South Korea right now, Ryan once again is reaching out and seeing a segment of the audience that doesn’t typically get a lot of face time with western celebrities: k-pop fans.
Stray Kids is a Korean band that recently did an homage to Deadpool on the reality competition show, Kingdom. Ryan heard about the performance and commented on social media:
Oh hello @stray_kids— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) May 20, 2021
You see how many likes there are on that tweet?
Bang Chan, also known as Christopher Bang, is the member of Stray Kids who’s the biggest Ryan Reynolds stan. So he was super excited to find out that Ryan acknowledged Stray Kids and then sent him an autograph and a bottle of Aviation gin.
Now look at the amount of likes on that tweet – almost double the first tweet.
So Ryan’s been promoting Free Guy recently, the movie opens tomorrow. Among all of his junket interviews, his team found time in the schedule for an interview with Bang Chan. Ryan opened the video by telling Bang Chan that he’s been following Bang Chan and Stray Kids’ comeback, and talked about the their videos, beginning their conversation by letting Bang Chan know that he did his homework – a gesture of hospitality that obviously meant a lot, not only to Chris but also to Stray Kids fans.
It must have made Chris feel seen. But at the same time, his followers feel seen, and by extension k-pop fans in general, a demographic that’s been increasingly influential across social media platforms, but seldom valued by mainstream western as a priority the way other demographics are. Speaking of social media platforms though, Ryan went the extra step to engage with Bang Chan on bubble (back in May), a messaging app where Stray Kids interact with their followers.
The fact that he knew to do this means that he and or someone on his team did the research, meeting Bang Chan’s fans where they are, in a deeply insider way. It’s promotion, sure, but it’s also considerate.
And SO smart.
Like I said at the start of this post, he’s doing it better than most. Which is why he’s trending today on Twitter, with the video of him with Bang Chan being widely circulated one day before his movie opens, and that’s great news for the studio because this is the kind of marketing that’s didn’t cost them a lot to produce, but the results are major. Ryan Reynolds is an outstanding Show Your Work case study. Here’s Ryan’s interview with Bang Chan:
Yours in gossip,