I am the most interesting man in the world….. Now that is one ballsy claim to make, even in an advert. Dos Equis lay claim to that title in their ‘The Most Interesting Man In The world Campaign’ a few years back and their spokes-character tried his darndest to live up to that claim. The TV features a suave 50-60 year old man played by Jonathan Goldsmith, who, among other things, bench presses nurses and sets free grizzly bears from traps all whilst wearing a suit. The commercials are narrated by Frontline’s Will Lyman.
Being a cross between Ernest Hemingway, Bill Murray, Burt Reynolds, Royal Tenenbaum, and Don Draper, the Most Interesting Man in the World harkens back to a mid-century concept of what real man should be. One who is in love with women and booze, but still holding onto a classy personality, and one who travels the world seeking experiences. In one of the adverts we are even told how “his beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body.”
The advertising campaign was created by Euro RSCG, and they created a rather elaborate and abundant mythology. You can visit to the campaign website to find a whole number of interesting extra goodies, such as The Interesting Academy, where you can learn to bluff and/or circumnavigate the globe and some sort of live, touring show. And, as any good internet celebrity should, he has a Twitter-impersonator.
You can separate the commercials into two categories: the first is a set of montages of stock footage cut together with a younger Jonathan Goldsmith-lookalike going on adventures. These are very Wes Anderson-esque; the film is yellowed and grainy, and every detail is eclectically perfect. The second set features the Most Interesting Man in the World in a bar, surrounded by gorgeous women, handing out little bits of advice like it’s his job.
What’s interesting about the commercials is how it is marketed. His ambivalence toward the advertised product comes across only in the tagline where he quips, “I don’t always drink beer.” So why are you advertising beer? “But when I do,” he adds, almost offhandedly, “I prefer Dos Equis.” Only a preference not a definitive choice? You would generally expect a brand icon to be an all-out cheerleader. Imagine Tony the Tiger admitting that he doesn’t always eat cereal for breakfast, but that when he does, he tends to eat Frosted Flakes, like, most of the time. Doesn’t have quite the same impact as “They’re Grrrrrrreat!” The advert doesn’t even commit to promoting Dos Equis beer until the end of each commercial in the end tag-line. Instead they choose to promote an iconic man, one who you want to emulate and become like yourself. And the advert hints that you can start doing so by drinking Dos Equis. And that is where the real power of the messaging in these adverts lie.
Now Dos Equis could have hired an actual celebrity as a spokesperson, but it is a good thing that they didn’t as celebrity endorsements have their pitfalls. One being that Celebrities require big paychecks, adding to the production cost. Another being that a well-known celebrity can fall out of favour with the public eye and you would have a lot more people possibly disregarding him as the most interesting man in the world due to their own movie preferences. Whereas with a lesser known actor you can disregard your own preferences and accept this as an advert. Also it helps to draw away from just promoting the man and not the dear, whereas if the advert featured a well-known celebrity such as Brad Pitt, it would end up only promoting Brad Pitt as an actor and the beer would be lost in the messaging. The actor who plays the most interesting man—though his IMDB credits include a bunch of rad 1980s television shows—presumably does not command a huge fee and let’s face it, his character is way funnier than any celebrity could be.
Below you can watch a number of their commercials: (with the narration written below)
“People hang on his every word, even the prepositions. He could disarm you with his looks,or his hands. Either way. He can speak French in Russian. He is the most interesting man in the world. I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Stay thirsty my friends.”
“He wouldn’t be afraid to show his feminine side, if he had one. His mother has a tattoo that reads, son. At museums he’s allowed to touch the art. He is the most interesting man in the world. I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Stay thirsty my friends.”
“His personality is so magnetic, he is unable to carry credit cards. Even his enemies list him as their emergency contact number. He never says something tastes like chicken, not even chicken. He is the most interesting man in the world. I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Stay thirsty my friends.”
“His reputation is expanding faster than the universe. He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels. He lives bi-curiously, through himself. He is the most interesting man in the world. I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Stay thirsty my friends.”
Reviewing The Dos Equis Adverts:
The cinematography is simply superb in these adverts. The production team clearly had a lot of fun when they were mixing together the vintage films clips and when they were out at the seemingly random and beautiful locations filming the vintage pieces. The way the scenes blend and cut together make the adverts interesting and fun to watch. By showing the “memories” of the most interesting man in the world, it really draws out the memorability of the advert and the fun of watching his seemingly inspiring adventures. /5
The messaging of these adverts is great in the way it is achieved. The words and narrations are memorable and inspiring. The flow of the script is also perfectly sculpted to make the script and therefore purpose of the adverts easy to remember. The messaging is so well done that when you think of the most interesting man in the world you will also think that he prefers to drink dos Equis. Though personally I think he is a scotch or whiskey man, more than a beer man, but hey it’s an advert. 5/5
The pace of the adverts are excellent and do not feel long at all. 5/5
In my opinion, the sound is the best part of these commercials. The music track is really interesting and fun to listen to and blends incredibly well with the timbre of the narration. 5/5
What about you?
What did you think of the ad? Would you drink Dos Equis? I’d love to see your feedback in the comments below.