Like a lot of talented creatives in the advertising world, David Valento recently found himself out of a job.
A senior copywriter, Valento was among those Ogilvy laid off due to the business impact of the coronavirus pandemic. So he did what came naturally and made a video pitching for his dream job: writing for Ryan Reynolds.
“I thought, ‘You know what would be funny?’ and went and did it,” he said, writing, producing and editing the pitch over the course of three days in his apartment.
Valento begins the resulting video, “Hire Me Reynolds,” with a humble request for his viewing audience: please be Ryan Reynolds.
You see, Valento likes Reynolds’ ads (his movies are “OK, too”) and would love to work for him. The latest spot from Reynolds’ content studio, Maximum Effort, and production house Escape Velocity for his liquor brand Aviation Gin (winner of Adweek’s 2020 March Adness competition) arrived last week, a celebration of bringing the promise and questionable decisions of bar life home.
Valento cited “Arlene’s Big Leap,” celebrating an 84-year-old leap year baby’s official 21st birthday, as a recent highlight.
In his video, Valento touts some relevant experience—he’s worked with Reyka Vodka—and his irreverent humor—the video unfolds as a conversation between Valento and himself—certainly does seem a match for Reynolds’ own approach.
He also cites a few other selling points:
- He’s tall.
- He has his own 2011 MacBook Pro that won’t work unless it’s plugged in.
Before arriving at a revealing ending, Valento takes some time to get real about his current situation.
“If you don’t hire me, I’m going to have to move back in with my mom,” he confesses, adding that while that would be “kind of nice,” his mother has already done enough for him, while also taking a moment to call out his mother’s work making masks for Minneapolis Children’s Hospital.
Valento explained that while he thought the line would be a funny inclusion, it’s also a reflection of reality and the kind of thoughts going through his head during his current situation.
“One of the worst parts about unemployment is just sitting there with your thoughts,” he said, including questioning if he’d ever work in advertising again. “One of the reasons I made that video is, knowing that’s totally a possibility, I might as well go for it.”
“I might as well do something I enjoy doing,” he added. “I just need to get into a situation where I’m paid for that.”
Valento is no stranger to pursuing creative passion projects, as evidenced by a recent Doritos video and last year turning the Bible into a very long ad for Tombstone Pizza.
So why Ryan Reynolds?
Valento explained that Reynolds’ ads are “funny and great and the kind of ads I want to do. He does things the way I like to do it. … ‘Here’s an idea, let’s go do it,'” he explained.
“All your major agencies, there’s so many layers,” he added. “There’s so much great work that doesn’t get made because there’s a million layers.”
Valento thought the video (which he uploaded to LinkedIn) was his best way of reaching out to Reynolds and his team, especially since he isn’t on Twitter, explaining that while the social media platform would seem a natural fit for a copywriter, he finds it is “messy” and can be “very toxic,” adding that he’s been attempting to “ween himself off” the short-term dopamine releases of such outlets.
“I realize that there’s a 1% chance of this actually working, but I have to go all in on that,” he explained.
Should Reynolds not take the bait, Valento said he’d also love to work at Wieden + Kennedy or David Miami.