The Dos Equis beer brand’s Most Interesting Man in the World pitchman is taking his show on the road. Or, more accurately, into space. The brand plans to replace the man now famed as The World’s Most Interesting Man with something “a bit more contemporary.”
Dos Equis has been using actor Jonathan Goldsmith as its pitchman since 2006, creating a winking character blending the jet-setting mystery of James Bond, the worldly suave (and vocal stylings) of Fernando Lamas and a wink like those Chuck Norris Facts. And (recent legal wrinkles aside) he was an amazingly effective pitchman, peddling the message of a confident brand ambassador who passes up the hard sell for a subtler, more believable “but when I do…” message.
When consumers stared into the packed liquor store refrigerator feeling a bit more adventurous than Coors, the “but when I do” message resonated. The Heineken-owned Dos Equis remains one of America’s fastest-growing beer brands.
You know your brand is a success when its pitchman and tagline become memes—and the Dos Equis brand has generated some very popular memes. A former garbage man, actor Goldsmith also became a bit of a celebrity himself. (That The Most Interesting Man bordered on a whitewashed character has never been a issue.)
Part of the appeal of Dos Equis Man is that he is at once debonair, worldly, mature and mysterious but also suggestive of caricatures and stereotypes just like his simple world, where all Arabs have camels, Africans wear tunics and guys who use the word “amigo” wear military junta strongman uniforms. He’s a little bit more intriguing than we expected, but not so much off track that we’re uncomfortable.
The irony of Dos Equis opting for a man who is “a bit more contemporary” is that the appeal of the original Most Interesting Man, even in his first 2006 ads, was that he evoked nostalgia for a lost time that never existed.
Flanked by gorgeous women half his age, the Most Interesting Man existed in a 50s/60s-ish world before political correctness, an age before tattoos and when a nubile 20-something woman could be seduced by a hairy man with white hair and no abs but tons of tales. He boasted the ‘respectable sexism’ of a Hemingway or early Playboy.
The final Most Interesting Man ad will see Dos Equis send its pitchman on a one-way trip to Mars. After that, the beer brand will work with Havas, the agency that invented him, to create a new Most Interesting Man who exists, in the words of Dos Equis parent Heineken USA Chief Marketing Officer Nuno Teles, “a bit more in today’s world.”
Today’s world, for Dos Equis, includes a new 2016 deal with the NCAA College Football Playoffs. In a statement to Ad Age, Teles recognizes this disconnect. In fact, it might be expected that when the South American-inspired Most Interesting Man uses the word, it’s pronounced “futbol.”
As for Goldsmith, according to USA Today,
The man who at one point lived on a sailboat in Los Angeles is currently writing a book tentatively entitled, Before I Was Interesting. It’s part autobiography about his life in Hollywood and part guide to success. Goldsmith says the role that’s made his likeness an icon of living a fabulously rich and fulfilling life came naturally and was largely inspired by himself.
“I put all of myself into this character,” Goldsmith says. “What you see on screen was all there long before the this role was created — the beard, the mischief, the tan. I have a tremendous lust for life that hopefully comes across in my portrayal of The Most Interesting Man.”
Dos Equis is playing its change close to the vest and so far will say nothing about what is in store for the new Most Interesting Man besides the fact that it will be “more present-day.” Well, as a commenter on the brand’s Instagram send-off noted today, how about the “World’s Most Interesting Woman”?