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Ryan Reynolds Doesn’t Understand 5G, But Mint Mobile Is Giving It Away for Free Either Way

The buzz about 5G—what it is, what it means and how to get it, has been the talk of the town in tech for months now. The major mobile carriers have all incorporated educational content into their ads to help consumers better understand what 5G can mean for their daily lives, and how each brand’s strategy for rolling out the new technology differs.

Mint Mobile, the budget mobile carrier owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, took a stab at its own piece of educational content with a 30-second spot released today on the brand’s social channels.

Standing in the same field of mint that Reynolds used to reintroduce Rick Moranis to the world, the Deadpool star (and Adweek’s 2020 Brand Visionary) welcomed Mint Mobile’s head of technology Rizwan Kassim onto the screen to explain to viewers what 5G is all about.

Kassim, however, proceeds to describe the new technology in what sounds like incomprehensible jargon—at least to the untrained ear. In reaction, Reynolds stares blankly at the camera for a moment before conceding, “It seems we may never know what 5G is.” And until he does, Reynolds continues, Mint Mobile is just going to give it away for free with every plan that the carrier offers.

Then it’s Kassim’s turn to be confused. “No, we’re not,” he says, as if he’s well practiced in covering for Reynolds’ bullshit on topics like this one. At that point, the offer flashes across the screen, and Kassim confusedly reverses his statement. “Oh, I guess we are,” he says. The spot concludes as Reynolds thanks Kassim for vainly trying to explain 5G.

The new spot joins a growing number of ads that aim to help consumers understand 5G and its intricacies. Unlike Mint’s ad, however, most are touting a carrier’s specific approach, and why it works better than the competition.

Just this week, T-Mobile partnered with Betty Crocker for an odd crossover product: a bright pink cake mix. The spot doubles down on the brand’s cake metaphor, which uses layers to describe the different broadband frequencies on which T-Mobile is building its 5G network. As such, the “un-carrier cake mix” instructs consumers to turn that metaphorical baked good into a real one.

Betting on a more serious approach, Verizon released a documentary last month in its quest to explain 5G technology to consumers. The 55-minute film, “Speed of Thought,” gives an overview of the development and possibilities of 5G. The Verizon doc is available to stream on Amazon Prime and Peacock.

The new Mint Mobile ad puts Reynolds’ self-deprecating humor front and center—something that’s become ubiquitous for the brands that the actor and marketer has purchased a stake in over the last couple years. Although the 30-second spot doesn’t do much to explain what 5G is, the popularity of the actor himself—and the alluring price tag of Mint Mobile’s plans at $15-30 dollars per month—seems to be doing the trick regardless.

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