Prof. Michael O'Mara
26 Oct 2018
Dos Equis Ad Campaign
One man is immensely responsible for the rise of Dos Equis. This is mas goes by, The Most Interesting Man in the World, a Hemingway-James Bond-esque character who has no boundaries on what he can accomplish. Dos Equis hired Mr. Goldsmith in 2006 to be their star character for their new ad campaign. Mr. Goldsmith portrays this smooth and elegant character whose self-confidence knows no bounds. The Dos Equis ad was first introduced nationally in 2009 and became a national phenomenon almost immediately. This ad was the first of its kind in terms of having an elegant man instead of the usual party vibes other beer brands used. Moreover, the ad campaign resulted in an increase to their sales of 34% (Fredrick 2016). Even though this Hemingway-esque figure was a bold move by a beer company they still managed to succeed (Close-Up. Media 2016). Why was The Most Interesting Man in The World so imperative to the rise of Dos Equis?
His name is Jonathan Goldsmith, a 73-year-old journeyman actor who was low key his whole life until he became the face of Dos Equis. His popularity grew so much that athletes like Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola recently asked to have his picture taken with him. And for Dos Equis, once a boutique beer brand sold mostly in California and Texas, has become one of the largest beer names in the country. The Most Interesting Man in the World is largely responsible for this tremendous growth.
Most beer brands at the time had their ads focused on fancy cars, attractive women and exotic locations. Dos Equis took a different route and introduced this James Bond-meets-Ernest Hemingway character to break the beer-advertising pattern. Rather than a young party-crazed character, Dos Equis went with an older, revered protagonist. “The logic was that the target of young men would not "see him as a threat or as a reminder of accomplishments they hadn't achieved yet," Mr. Smailes said. He "needed to be someone to work toward, vs. a mirror of themselves." (Schultz 2012). Fast forward the audition process and The Most Interesting Man ad campaign went live in 2009 and rapidly found popularity amongst a “younger” crowd. Dos Equis sales took flight, sales more than doubled from 2006 to 2011 putting Dos Equis on the map. (Schultz 2012).
Throughout one of the ads, Dos Equis inserts flashbacks of The Most Interesting Man performing wild stunts and Chuck Norris-esque feats in a grainy film look. Scenes out of a movie such as Mission Impossible where he jumps out of an airplane onto a moving boat. All while the narrator recites witty one-liners such as “He gave his father… “the talk””, “His passport requires no photograph”, “Once a rattlesnake bit him, after 5 days of excruciating pain, the snake finally died” and “He can speak Russian… in French” (Schultz 2010)
These are just a couple of quotes the narrator intones throughout the ad to give you a perspective of what Mr. Goldsmith is capable of. The metaphor behind Mr. Goldsmiths character is that it represents what every guy would want to look like when they reach retirement. Like I mentioned before, it's a person to aspire to be rather than a person to relate to. This rustic elegance is something that drew the attention of many beer drinkers around the USA to aspire to become “The Most Interesting Man in The World”.
Figure 1. (The Most Interesting Man in the World)
Something I found interesting while researching about this Dos Equis ad campaign is that you will not see Mr. Goldsmith making public-relations appearances as the Most Interesting Man. Dos Equis reveled it has turned down many offers from third parties because they don't want the character to overshadow the brand. "You want to make sure the awareness is around the brand, instead of the awareness of the character" said Kheri Holland Tillman, VP-trade marketing and sales strategy. (Schultz 2012).
After all, it seems unquestionable that Mr. Goldsmith has single-handedly skyrocketed sales over his career with Dos Equis. The way this ad was executed was extremely effective even though it took a “leap of faith” in a different direction. In the meantime, Mr. Goldsmith is a well-established celebrity recognized around the country by individuals that aspire to be him. However, Dos Equis has now revealed a new Most Interesting Man which could change momentum Dos Equis has had throughout the Ads (Fredrick 2016). That being said, I would like to take a closer look into this ad campaign put forth by Dos Equis. Is the relationship between self-confidence, the visual imagery and the intonation of the narrator, the underlying reason for this campaigns success?
First, Dos Equis changed their approach to their advertisement outlook but kept the audience the same. Most beer brands have a target audience of males aged 21-40-year-old including Dos Equis. However, Dos Equis flipped their ad outlook and developed a creative ad focused around an elegant and revered character instead of following the trend other beer brands were focused on. Moreover, this was something extremely new in the beer industry, no other beer brand had thought of completely redesigning their ad concept and focus on a classier perspective which gave Dos Equis a head start. (Fredrick 2016).
All things considered, the logic behind this new perspective redefined the beer industry. Instead of focusing on the party aspect of drinking beer, they made you envy the man's lifestyle and value his taste. All this while promoting their brand. In addition, they imply that one of the easiest ways to imitate this man's life is to drink Dos Equis. The context of the ad has been reinforced with the development of the character throughout each ad put forth. The ad shows the Most Interesting Man surrounded by beautiful women, exuding self-confidence and bravery; something every male aspires to become.
"The evolution of the latest campaign has been in creative development for more than two years," says Andrew Katz, VP of marketing for Dos Equis. "Since the inception of The Most Interesting Man, we have been planning for this moment, as we knew it would one day be inevitable. It's important to evolve with our consumers and their changing attitudes and behaviors. Recent research shows 83% of men want to live a more interesting life, which reinforces the campaign's mind-set."
Fredrick, David. PRWeek (Jun 2016)
Again, is the relationship between self-confidence, the visual imagery and the intonation of the narrator, the underlying reason for this campaigns success? The self-confidence, the boldness, and the self-reliant attitude Mr. Goldsmith puts out in the ad is essential to getting his message across. If it wasn't for his intense and fearless look, the audience would not be as engaged as they are. Combine said attitude with a deep and powerful voice over delivering witty one-liners and you have yourself the perfect persuasive ad. (B.Labrador 2013).
This image viewers have while drinking Dos Equis is what the company ultimately wants. They want the average beer drinker to have a sense of confidence and power while drinking Dos Equis. To add, when I first saw this ad all I wanted to do was grab a Dos Equis, put a suit on, and feel as if I am The Most Interesting Man in the World. I believe most people felt the same way after watching their commercials. With all this being said, I believe my hypothesis of the relationship between self-confidence, the visual imagery and the intonation of the narrator, were the underlying reason for this campaigns success.
Schultz, E J. “HOW THIS MAN MADE DOS EQUIS A MOST INTERESTING MARKETING STORY: Like Jonathan Goldsmith, the Beer Brand Was Once Low-Profile, but One Ad Campaign Changed Their Fortunes.” AdvertisingAge, Advertising Age; Chicago, 5 Mar. 2012.
Close-Up. Media “Dos Equis and Havas Worldwide Earn Sustained Success.” Entertainment Close - Up, Close-Up Media, Inc., 19 June 2013.
Schultz, E J. “AMERICA'S HOTTEST BRANDS: .” Advertising Age, Advertising Age; Chicago, 15 Nov. 2010.
B.Labrador. “Rhetorical Structure and Persuasive Language in the Subgenre of Online Advertisements.” ScienceDirect, Department of Modern Languages, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of León, Campus De Vegazana s/n, 24071 León, Spain, 18 Dec. 2013.
Frederick, David. “Dos Equis Says 'Adios' to Its Most Interesting Frontman.” PRWeek, Haymarket Business Publications Ltd., June 2016.
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