Times are tough and everyone is trying to find ways to save a buck wherever they can. Businesses are feeling that pinch when it comes to their advertising budgets too. Companies are being forced to be more creative when it comes to their marketing, while always keeping the bottom line in mind.

Ryan Reynolds
Getty Images

One tried and true approach to advertising is to use a spokesman, usually a popular celebrity or athlete - someone who becomes the face of a company. In recent years, one of the most popular and most successful spokesmen in the world has been Ryan Reynolds - his face and voice are all over the place. The folks at A&W really wanted to use Ryan Reynolds for their latest advertising campaign. There's just one small problem - actually, it's a really big problem, as in a really big price tag to get Ryan Reyolds.

The Next Best Thing

A&W was determined to get Ryan Reynolds to be a part of their commercials, they just had to get creative about how to do it. As you're about to see, they were, in fact, able to get Ryan Reynolds to be their new spokesman - it just happens to be Ryan Reynolds from Southern Indiana.

Ryan Reynolds

Meet the NEW Ryan Reynolds

I haven't met the famous Ryan Reynolds, but I have known this Ryan Reynolds for a long time - and I'll take him any day. This Ryan was born and raised here in Southern Indiana and still lives here with his wife and two sons. He and I had some classes together at USI back in the mid-90s, and over the years we have spent countless afternoons together on the baseball field. Ryan is a newspaperman - in fact, he is the Interim Editor for the Evansville Courier & Press. I think Ryan has been working at the C&P for just about as long as I have been in radio. He is one of the nicest, smartest, and funniest guys I know, and I think A&W made a perfect choice.

A Brilliant Campaign

Here's the premise, A&W is taking all of the money they saved by hiring this Ryan Reynolds and using it to give away a bunch of root beer floats - one free float for anyone who joins the A&W Mug Club. They are also asking folks to make donations to Disabled American Veterans (DAV). It's a win-win, you get a yummy treat and you can support our brave disabled vets. By the way, National Root Beer Float Day is coming up on August 6th.

Are You Ready for Your Close-Up?

I asked Ryan how he felt about being the new face of A&W, knowing I would get an honest answer. He said, "I am NOT an in-front-of-the-camera guy. I am not good-looking. I have bad skin, below-average hair and yep, I'm overweight. All of that does not add up to what sells product in America these days. So I was nervous." He also said that the production company, Cornett, couldn't have been more professional and easy to work with. They did a great job of putting Ryan at ease and making him feel comfortable, and you can tell by the outtakes that they were kind enough to share. Here's a fun little nugget - Ryan tells me that because it was so hot that day, the A&W folks had to make about a dozen root beer floats during the time it took to shoot the commercial because the ice cream kept melting.

50 Most Popular Chain Restaurants in America

YouGov investigated the most popular dining brands in the country, and Stacker compiled the list to give readers context on the findings. Read on to look through America's vast and divergent variety of restaurants—maybe you'll even find a favorite or two.

More From WDKS-FM