YVR wants Ryan Reynolds to be airport’s celebrity ambassador

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“I will go out and convince Ryan Reynolds to be the spokesperson for YVR,” said Vancouver Airport Authority CEO and president Craig Richmond

By Scott Brown, The Vancouver Sun – Updated: July 15, 2019

Actor Ryan Reynolds.
The Vancouver International Airport wants Ryan Reynolds to be its celebrity ambassador. CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP

Vancouver Airport Authority CEO and president Craig Richmond may be in charge of the second busiest airport in Canada but he still finds time for sketch comedy and viral marketing campaigns.

Video can be found at https://twitter.com/yvrairport

The Vancouver International Airport’s head honcho stars in, #FindingRyan, YVR’s latest social media effort  — a comic video designed to convince Vancouver-born movie star Ryan Reynolds to agree to being the airport’s first celebrity ambassador.

Help Craig find Ryan! Quote tweet this and tag@VancityReynolds to be entered to win a $2500 travel voucher. #FindingRyanpic.twitter.com/PFOSNcWsdi

Vancouver Airport (@yvrairport)

In the video, Richmond appears hopelessly desperate keen to latch on to a B.C. celebrity who can help deliver the message that YVR is a community airport, something he says the majority of British Columbians are unaware of.

“We do some community surveys and, although it’s gotten a little bit better, it’s quite frustrating to us that only 17 percent of British Columbians know about our model, which is a community-based, not-for-profit model,” said Richmond. “We want to get our message out that we literally do not belong to the government, nor do we belong to any shareholders. We belong to the people of B.C. and any money we make gets put back into the airport. I think that when people understand that, they understand a lot better about why it is we do the things we do.

“So we just tried to find some fun way to get that get that across.”

Richmond wants a celebrity to broadcast that message to the masses, but not just any celebrity.

In the video, the airport boss takes a pass on singer Carly Rae Jepsen because he believes her Call Me Maybe lyrics are too “wishy-washy” for North America’s No. 1 airport, nixes funnyman Seth Rogen because he’s already had a celebrity ambassador run with TransLink and, inexplicably, votes thumbs down on Michael Buble because he “is too perfect, too handsome.”

Reynolds, one of Hollywood’s savviest social media users, is the one celebrity he craves.

“I will go out and convince Ryan Reynolds to be the spokesperson for YVR,” Richmond says in the #FindingRyan video.

The airport is offering Twitter users a chance to win $2,500 just by tagging Reynold’s Twitter handle, @VancityReynolds, when they retweet the video.

Reynolds, if you were wondering, is not involved in the campaign.

“Oh, not at all. In fact, Michael Bublé is not involved in the campaign. Seth Rogen and Carly Rae are not involved. We just picked a few people and hopefully we could get some fun going with some of these celebrities. If it does anything and people wonder ‘why are they doing that and why do they say their community-based not-for-profit?’ then it will have worked,” he said.

Reynolds was recently paid $20 million to star in a Netflix movie, so it might take more than a grassroots Twitter campaign to convince him to shill for his local airport, but Richmond is hopeful.

“I think if Ryan Reynolds decides to do this he can write his own requirements. We thought about him because he’s got a great sense of humour,” he said.