Leap Day comes once in four years. Here's an ad by Aviation Gin that plays on this fact to tell the amusing story of a 'first time' drinker.
"I was technically five years old when I got married," shrugs Arlene Manko. "I had seven kids in 10 years, don't you think sometimes I just wanted a drink," she asks the viewers of Aviation Gin's newest ad. Manko was born in 1936. But this year, she will turn 21 years old, owing to the fact that her birthday comes by once in four years. She's what is commonly called a 'leap baby', or a child who's born on February 29.
"The ad is a toast to all those born on Leap Day, who have had to wait patiently all these years to finally ring in their 21st birthday,” an Aviation Gin spokesperson said, as reported by Business Insider. Aviation Gin is the alcoholic beverage brand owned by Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds. The brand is attempting to build itself on the back of moment marketing in the context of internet trends.
"Aviation Gin is honouring anyone else born on Feb. 29, 1936, who has had to patiently wait all these years to finally ring in their 21st birthday," the company said in a release, as reported by USA Today. The release also mentioned that "those of legal leap year drinking age can email Reynolds at Ryan@aviationgin.com for a gift card worth $29 to an online spirits retailer".
Leap year only comes once in four years and this was the time when marketers across categories went all out to use that one extra day in the year to attract new customers. This commercial was Aviation Gin's take on the trend. Before the end of the commercial, Manko takes a jab at Reynolds, admitting that she had never heard of his name before she was approached for the ad. A YouTube user was quick to point out that it was probably because she was never of legal age to view his movies (especially his action movies like '6 Underground' which have an 'Adults Only' (A) rating). Reynolds manages to get the last word in when you hear his amiable laugh in a voice over in the background saying, “Ignore her, she’s been drinking.”
This isn't the first time that one of Aviation Gin's ads made the internet sit up and take notice. Towards the end of 2019, Reynolds uploaded an ad to his official YouTube channel, featuring actress Monica Ruiz. If the name sounds familiar, it's because she is the same actress who was criticised for acting in a commercial for Peloton exercise bikes.
The ad is a fairly straightforward one - a husband gifts his wife an exercise bike, she chronicles her journey using it for a year. However, many internet users criticised the ad, calling it sexist and insensitive, pointing out that it seemed rather futile to gift someone who is already svelte an exercise bike. The ad was intentionally titled 'The Gift That Doesn't Give Back', to draw attention to Ruiz, her emotions and the scrutiny she has been under for her work.