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When Ryan Reynolds’s marketing firm Maximum Effort was acquired earlier this year by CTV adtech firm MNTN, many wondered what the possible collaborations could look like. Now the firm has released a video showing it A/B testing creative featuring the star – and the results break his heart.

MNTN ran a $25,000 B2B campaign promoting its platform in premium TV environments. One ad featured Reynolds as a talking head, the other injected stock imagery over his voiceover – the latter of which outperformed the spot featuring the star. 

In the ad, Reynolds rhymed off some words he could “barely understand” about the CTV space (he’s not been doing his reading, clearly) before inviting into the conference call Imani Clark, a customer success specialist at MNTN, who talked him through the campaign.

She showed how the firm measured multiple levels of engagement and clicks through to its website after targeting prominent marketers. Clarke revealed in a “surprising twist” that the voice-over ad performed best, which Reynolds said was “crushing for an actor to hear”, adding “you literally just broke my soul into a thousand tiny pieces”.

The Drum confirmed that the results of the test were legitimate and the ad without Reynold’s face did genuinely perform better. Reynolds tends to be paid huge figures for endorsements, and pointed out in the ad that he hopes this test does not impact those offers.

On the acquisition of his agency by MNTN months ago, Ryan Reynolds stated: “I genuinely love marketing and I have been gobsmacked by how much fun it has been and how fast we have grown. We wanted a future for our marketing arm that ensured we could continue to move fast, have fun and do really rewarding work.”

This campaign is a clear indicator of the tongue-in-cheek approach to marketing the platform will take. Finally, check out The Drum’s favorite Ryan Reynolds ads. Though at the rate he produces ads, we may have to update the list any day now.