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Dos Equis Advertising Campaign Case Study:”The most interesting man in the world”

Played by Jonathan Goldsmith and narrated by Frontline’s Will Lyman, The Most Interesting Man in the World is an ad campaign featuring a suave 50-60 year-old man who, among other things, bench presses women in short skirts and frees grizzly bears from traps while wearing a suit.

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 a man’s man should be. In love with women and booze, but classier than most, he travels the world seeking experiences. (“His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body.”)

The campaign, by marketing firm Euro RSCG, creates a remarkably elaborate mythology. A visit to the campaign website reveals all kinds of 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. There’s also a feature called Behind Interesting, which are short, musical videos about people who wish they were as interesting as the Most Interesting Man in the World. And, as any good internet celebrity should, he has a Twitter-impersonator.

The commercials fall 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, from speed-boating with beauty queens by moonlight to splash-landing into the ocean from outerspace to arm-wrestling communists. 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. (It is.)

The most interesting thing about the commercials is that MIMITW never really commits to promoting Dos Equis — the closest he comes is with the tag line, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.” Sometimes, when he damn well feels like it, he will drink the beer he’s selling. Dos Equis is obviously promoting an image here more than the product itself, but how helpful is it if the image doesn’t necessarily use the product? Whatever, the ads are totally awesome. But we’d bet money that he’s a scotch man.


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