Mint Mobile dropped a new spot today to announce its new unlimited talk, text and data plan, and it brought back one of the most dearly missed actors of the ’80s: Rick Moranis.
The first ad in a campaign to promote the offering features Mint Mobile owner, Deadpool actor and master marketer Ryan Reynolds standing in a field of mint (the plant). Reynolds explains that because the budget cell carrier has gone so long without offering an unlimited everything option, he brought back an actor we’ve all gone too long without: Moranis, star of classics like Little Shop of Horrors, Spaceballs, Ghostbusters and, of course, the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids franchise.
Following the release of Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves in 1997, Moranis left Hollywood to focus on raising his kids. His wife died of cancer in 1991, and since then he’s mostly focused on single parenthood. He did have a comedic music career on the side—he released a country album in 2005 called Agoraphobic Cowboy and an album of tongue-in-cheek love songs called My Mother’s Brisket in 2013—but has stayed offscreen.
News broke in February that Moranis would be returning to the Disney-owned sci-fi film series for a new installment tentatively called Shrunk. In the meantime, fellow Canadian Reynolds tapped the long dormant actor and comedian for a new Mint Mobile ad, playing the part of awkward superfan in the presence of Moranis.
When Moranis asks what he’s supposed to say to promote Mint Mobile’s new package, Reynolds admits that the $30 deal will probably sell itself—he’s just a really big fan.
It’s a classic, Reynolds-style anti-advertisement, where he mostly tells weird jokes, creates awkward, self-deprecating scenarios or plays on a particularly prescient cultural moment that makes it hard to look away or suppress a laugh even if you’re too cool not to roll your eyes.
Reynolds, who is speaking at Adweek’s weeklong Brandweek Masters Live virtual event next week, purchased a majority share in Mint Mobile last November, adding the budget carrier to his portfolio—which already included booze brand Aviation American Gin as of early 2018. He’s spent the last couple years putting his signature mark on both brands to the delight of advertisers and fans alike. Just last month, alcohol giant Diageo bought Aviation but chose to keep Reynolds on as co-owner and creative lead for the brand.