Satan and 2020 Are Dating in Ryan Reynolds' Diabolical Ad for Match

Set to Taylor Swift's re-recorded 'Love Story'

2020 has been a tragedy on many levels, but in advertising, comedy has slowly been making a comeback—particularly since the election and the light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel vaccine news that's lightened the mood somewhat, even in the face of a frightening surge in coronavirus cases.

Now, Match and content studio Maximum Effort (co-run by Ryan Reynolds) have pushed Covid comedy to new heights with a faux-epic commercial based around an absurdly entertaining premise—that Satan and 2020 are dating.

The 90-second spot, which Reynolds pushed out to his social feeds Wednesday, is a diabolical parody of dating commercials, featuring a montage of first-date scenes around NYC, all set to Taylor Swift's re-recorded version of "Love Story."

Match Made In Hell

UPDATE: Match released this sequel spot on Thursday:

When Satan Met 2020

Original story continues below...

The devil really is in the details here—the squirrel getting zapped by lightning, the WTF end-zone paint job in the stadium, Satan unwilling to be pulled into the church, the pair posing for selfies in front of a literal dumpster fire.

It ends perfectly, too. "I just don't want this year to end," our horned anti-hero muses forlornly, to which 2020 replies, "Who would?" They gaze out over the East River toward the Queensboro Bridge, as meteors rain down on the Earth.

Reynolds joined the Match board this summer, and is clearly intent on bringing his celebrated brand of self-aware comedy—as seen in movies like Deadpool and ads for brands in which he's invested, like Aviation Gin and Mint Mobile—to the dating site, too.

"Match is responsible for bringing millions of people together and even in this dumpster fire of a year, people somehow found love on Match," he says in a statement. "We just imagined what a '2020 match' would look like, and this video was the natural, slightly warped result. Also, this stuff gives me something to think about during the board meetings."

Getting the Swift track was quite the coup, as well. The pop star has been re-recording her first six albums recently, as a way to get ownership of her back catalog.

Swift told Good Morning America last week: "So far, of the ones I've recorded, I think it's been the most fun doing 'Love Story' because the older music, my voice was so teenaged and I sometimes, when I hear my older music and my older young teenage voice, it makes me feel like I'm a different singer now."

The snippet of "Love Story" has been partly what's propelled the Match commercial around the internet today, another example of Reynolds' savvy use of media.

Along with the spot, real dating profiles were created for Satan and 2020, also courtesy of Maximum Effort. 

"Sometimes you have to make space to laugh," says Match chief marketing officer Ayesha Gilarde. "Ryan and the team at Maximum Effort created a story that speaks to this hellish year, while acknowledging the incredible resilience of singles. We can't wait for the love stories of 2021."

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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