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Ryan Reynolds sells out again: Maximum Effort acquired by CTV player MNTN

Ryan Reynolds-owned Maximum Effort Marketing has been a darling of adland with its devil-may-care attitude (quite literally if you count the Match.com ads). Today, it announced that MNTN is acquiring the hot shop. MNTN “builds advertising software for brands to drive measurable conversions, revenue, site visits and more through the power of television,” per the company. Here’s what you need to know.

What happened

  • MNTN (pronounced Mountain) announced today that it is acquiring Maximum Effort Marketing.

  • MNTN plays in the connected TV and self-serve ads space. It claims, “MNTN Performance TV is the world’s first and only Connected TV advertising platform optimized for direct-response marketing goals. It redefines what advertisers can do with television, giving them the power to tie performance directly to their TV campaigns.”

  • Maximum Effort Marketing will continue to operate as a creative agency within MNTN. It will retain its existing identity.

  • Ryan Reynolds is now chief creative officer of MNTN and partner George Dewey is now chief brand officer. Dewey will also maintain his role as president of Maximum Effort.

  • Maximum Effort Productions is not part of the transaction and will continue to operate as a standalone company. It signed a separate deal, last month, with Paramount Pictures giving the studio first look at development deals.

  • A spokesperson for MNTN confirmed the deal. (One never knows where the humor begins and ends with Reynolds and Maximum Effort.)

Why it matters

  • Between its work for Match.com and Mint Mobile, Maximum Effort Marketing has been one of the most-watched creative shops in the industry.

  • Merging a creative shop with “one the fastest growing company in adtech” will be an interesting marriage.

  • Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. This deal follows the reported $610 million sale of Reynolds' Aviation Gin to Diageo last year.

  • Ryan Reynolds said in a statement: “We wanted a future for our marketing arm that ensured we could continue to move fast, have fun and do really rewarding work. I was blown away by the simplicity and speed of MNTN’s technology and how it opens up access to TV for advertisers who can’t afford upfront agreements. I believe the combination of our companies will create a 1+1 equals 3 situation, assuming my math checks out. It was never my strong suit.”

  • Chief executive of MNTN Mark Douglas said: “The explosion of the Connected TV presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring creative and media back together. Creative is the center of the advertising industry and I’ve always thought it odd to have creative and media walled off from each other. Maximum Effort’s work speaks for itself and having spent a lot of time with Ryan, I know I’ve found a partner who likes to move fast and take big swings.”

  • Ryan Reynolds explains the deal here to his twin brother Gordon.

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