Ryan Reynolds had a real conversation with a real kid and the media world went bananas.
Early this week, I brought a pint-sized KidzVuz reporter to the Red Carpet for the premiere of Turbo. Our ten year old first-timer interviewed Ryan Reynolds, Michelle Rodriguez, Luis Guzman, Ken Leong, race car stars Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Ken Kanaan, and more. As usual, the stars loved seeing a kid on the Red Carpet, and the other journalists were charmed, too.
But what came next surprised me. There’s been a ton of coverage… of our coverage. , , eonline, Philly.com, I even got a media request from Norway. They all wrote – not about Ryan – but about Ryan and our reporter. And it’s gotten me thinking. .
First, take a look at the KidzVuz/Ryan Reynolds interview that’s gotten all the buzz.:
There’s no denying it’s adorable. He’s adorable, she’s adorable.
But Ryan Reynolds is always adorable. (Except when he’s sexy). So why did this particular interview strike such a chord?
Because it’s real. To a media-hungry population, drowning in a sea of Hollywood artifice, this regular kid – just being a regular kid – who just so happened to be interviewing a mega-star – is a life-raft of authenticity.
It’s sad, really, that a movie star being a nice, regular person is such an anomaly. Sad, but not surprising. Celebrities are under tremendous scrutiny. Every person they pass has a high definition camera in their pocket, access to an unlimited internet audience, and the seemingly universal instinct to snap and share. It’s rare that celebs get to just be.
Ryan Reynolds got to have an authentic moment in the center of the publicity machine.
I’m not naive enough to think it was 100% natural. I did have a camera trained on the exchange, and he was there for publicity. But there’s no denying his real pleasure (and hers) in their brief exchange. And there’s no doubt that there’s something about a cute 10-year-old girl with a mouthful of braces that simply dispels the artifice, and catches even the most fabulous of celebrities off guard.
I’m thrilled that the KidzVuz coverage generated such buzz (45k YouTube views and counting!!), and not just for business reasons. I’m happy that people still are still moved by authenticity. In a world of Toddlers and Tiaras, of Bachelors and Bachelorettes, of staged reality shows from the Jersey Shore to the heart of duck country, authenticity what KidzVuz is all about. We wanted to create a space where kids could be authentically themselves in a place they wouldn’t be bullied, exposed to content they shouldn’t, or divulge any private information they shouldn’t.
We didn’t create KidVuz as a marketing machine, or as a site-for-sale, we created it to make a safe, creative space for kids. In a way, KidzVuz is like a 10-year-old with a mouth full of braces. Genuine. Hard to resist. Evoking real emotion.
Of course we have to pay for the site. And if brands can see that the authentic voice of kids is what really matters, what gets people’s attention, and they come to us to get it? Well, so much the better.
But right now, it’s enough for me that KidzVuz got to take Glitter Girl to the red carpet, that she got to meet and talk to celebrities who were, as it turns out, just really nice grown ups who happened to be in the movies, and that other people – big media types – recognized that a kid being a kid is better than staging some “reality” situation, or dolling up a kid to look like some perverse mini-adult. By recognizing how special the exchange between Ryan Reynolds and Glitter Girl was, they recognized the worth of KidzVuz itself.
And I’m pretty happy about that.