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Steve-O eats a Carolina Reaper pepper to explain Ryan Reynolds’s ad business

MNTN owns Reynolds’s creative shop Maximum Effort, and this gloriously dumb stunt explains how it all works.

Steve-O eats a Carolina Reaper pepper to explain Ryan Reynolds’s ad business

Last June, Culver City, California-based ad-tech software firm MNTN (pronounced “mountain”) acquired Ryan Reynolds’s digital marketing studio Maximum Effort, and named the Hollywood star as its new chief creative officer. Since then, Maximum Effort has continued to churn out advertising hits for brands Aviation Gin, Mint Mobile, Match.com, Peloton, and more.

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However, to many observers, the exact role of MNTN in all of this remained less clear. The problem is, when you start talking about advertising software for brands to drive measurable conversions, revenue, site visits, and more, many people’s eyes begin to glaze over, and before you know it, zzzzzzzzz.

So now Reynolds has figured out a way to convince people to sit through an entire product demo of how a brand of any size can take advantage of the MNTN platform. Get Jackass star Steve-O to eat a f**king Carolina Reaper pepper before walking us through the process himself.

Keep in mind, the Carolina Reaper measures over 2 million on the Scoville scale, which puts it juuuust this side of actual pepper spray. The result is an exercise in hilariously masochistic marketing, as Steve-O struggles to articulate audience segmentation, and geographic targeting of connected TV advertising, while his throat is closing up due to the ghost pepper’s Capsaicin microparticles wreaking havoc on his senses.

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It’s dumb, it’s funny, and it’s perhaps a viable model going forward for all types of less-than-exciting topics like individual tax code and long division.

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity.

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