No Longer Interesting

The original Dos Equis ad (shot by Michael Lewis); the airport standee

This is the kind of post that my friend Stephen Gates would do on his media blog, where he often critiques what’s wrong in design and advertising, but I came across this standee for Dos Equis at an airport bar yesterday and had to comment.

In 2007 Euro RSCG’s ads featuring “The Most Interesting Man in the World” became a sensation, and for good reason – they were smart, funny, and most importantly, authentic feeling. This is the man that most boys would love to had grown up to be – confident, worldly, mysterious, and probably a little dangerous. And, he was barely even hawking the product in the ads, as he would say, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos Equis.” He’s almost saying, “Real men drink hard liquor, but a cold beer is nice once in a while.”

I came across a standee for Dos Equis yesterday at JFK airport. It shows our man, badly groomed, dressed in a third-rate Vegas dinner jacket “welcoming you” into the bar. What happened to make him no longer interesting? My guess is that when the ads first ran (broadcast & print) the level of interest drove the company to put the actor/model out there to maintain visibility. I’ve quickly looked this fellow up on-line, his name is Jonathan Goldsmith, and as far as I can see he’s a decent, modest man, with some philanthropic interests, but he’s no where near the most interesting man in the world. I don’t even think that he’d make the top 25.

This is a situation of people not knowing what they have and how to deal with it. The major appeal of this man was his mystery; as soon as he opened his mouth (unscripted) his magic was gone. It seems to me that they should had some kind of gentleman’s agreement with the model that he was to avoid any exposure outside of the ad agency’s direction.

No more Santa Claus, again.

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2 Responses to No Longer Interesting

  1. Hey Chris.
    I read your post with interest and am not sure the point being made. Do you feel the campaign should not have been extended by the agency and/or client to poorly produced and cheesy point-of-sale?

    As for Jonathan Goldsmith, he is a life-long journeyman actor. I’m pretty sure when he won the audition to be the faux celebrity spokesperson for the Dos Equis campaign he viewed it as just another role. One of many in his acting career. The fact that you had to look him up online says to me he is keeping a low enough profile to fly under the radar of most average consumers.

    I still find him and the campaign interesting. The campaign is extremely well written, well produced (sans the standee), the color palette for both tv & print is pitch perfect, and the campaign still has the single greatest copy line ever written, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos Equis.”

    Keep up the great work.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks for the comment Steven. I actually first heard about Jonathan himself when he appeared on Adam Carolla’s podcast, I only looked him up this morning to check the facts before posting.

      You’re correct that the cheapness of the standee is a different issue than the lack of mystery around the Dos Equis model, but both point to a lack of quality control around this initially amazing campaign.

      Chris

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