Ladies and gentlemen, I urge you to expose yourself to The Most Interesting Man In The World, a growing cult phenomenon. I could describe him, but it would be better to relay what and who the man is from the source.
Those if us living in the United States have been treated recently to a truly creative series of commercials by the importers of Mexico’s “Dos Equis (XX)” beer featuring not just the details of this character’s life, but also his views. The product pitchman has cleverness and depth, a refreshing change for campaigns targeting Americans who drink beer.
Unlike some American-aimed strategies, The Most Interesting Man in The World comes with an international flair and pedigree that may just reach the world around. The campaign was created by Euro RSCG Worldwide (now Havas). The agency’s campaign website lays it all out.
“Here was the opportunity for Dos Equis: as a brand with an unusual, original and underground status, it could become an outward sign that its drinker was decidedly not average. Dos Equis could become the symbol of a life more interesting. And we would share this truth through The Most Interesting Man in the World.”
The first ads, in radio, television and print, sport a latin-accented man of unending and ever-multiplying talents, and features clips of his history of derring-do, interviews and relations of his experiences, and a number of bits offering advice to those who would be interesting. The first video piece introduced the American audience to “TMIMITW” with a simple sequence of images from his life and a voiceover:
From there, the agency and Dos Equis have managed to roll out a huge number of short ads, some of which are available on youtube. You can find them handily collected at the end of this article.
Euro RSCG Worldwide did far more than produce a few videos and print and radio spots. “Stay Thirsty, My Friends” is not just the MIM’s pitch, but his web address. More video, including a very amusing mock interview and some other video pieces, is available there. Also available are a number of minigames related to the mythos of TMIMITW, as the web has dubbed him.
To top the phenomenon off and lead overly curious souls like myself down even more convoluted rabbit holes, Dos Equis also paid for a 6-part series on “Behind Interesting,“ shot in the style and tone of “In Search Of” from the 1970s. It’s worth the time to check out, if only to see how very complete this humorous, very creative and highly successful campaign really is.
How successful? According to Euro RSCG, the campaign has been a resounding success.
“Full year case sales are up 20% and total dollar sales are up 33.7% vs. YAG – significantly exceeding the 2.7% category growth rate (Nielsen). Sales in TV markets are outpacing sales in non-TV markets, 21.1% and 15.7%, respectively. Velocity gains for the Dos Equis franchise are 45% and an incredible 85% for lager, which is featured in the campaign.”
We are drinking a lot more Dos Equis, it appears, than we ever did before. But of most note is the results in television markets, showing how well-received the video segments have been. But why? I surprisingly agreed with the strategy the agency laid out.
“He is a man rich in stories and experiences, much the way the audience hopes to be in the future. Rather than an embodiment of the brand, The Most Interesting Man is a voluntary brand spokesperson: he and Dos Equis share a point of view on life that it should be lived interestingly.”
And, in my opinion, he (as portrayed by actor Johnathan Goldsmith) does this very well. After an impressive and very interesting 10-year run, Jonathan Goldsmith said goodbye to his iconic Dos Equis ad character, appearing in one final ad, in which he makes a suitably grand exit.
But this by no way means that his spirit doesn't live on, meet the New Most Interesting Man in the World, Augustin Legrand.
But to be direct, it is the very normalness of the man’s adventures and his attainable status that makes him compelling. He does what he sees fit to and makes what he wants his own. And if that means Dos Equis hitches itself to that which makes a man interesting and points out a simple set of principles with their tongue firmly planted in cheek, then I can make a six pack or two my own once in a while.
Of course, this because, “I do not always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer it to be… interesting.”