The Quirky Genius of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” Ads


most-interesting-man-in-the-world“He once had an awkward moment just to see how it feels. He lives vicariously through himself. He is the most interesting man in the world. I don’t always drink beer,” he says, “but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Stay thirsty, my friends.”

Every once in a while, advertisers, even creators of commercials, create something that transcends the genre and becomes art.

Meet The Most Interesting Man in the World. Suave, sophisticated and entirely fictional; a man’s man.

A series of commercials promoting a certain brand of beer use as their spokesperson a man who is much too sophisticated to be a beer drinker. Well, most of the time. As he informs us, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.”

He dishes out advice on everything from self-defense (“the right look should suffice”) to rollerblading (“no”). The campaign was designed by marketing firm Euro RSCG, which created a whole mythology surrounding The Interesting One.

We’re told that he’s the only man to ever ace a Rorschach test, that his blood smells like cologne and that his personality is so magnetic, he’s unable to carry credit cards. We see or hear him traveling the world, conversing with royalty and escaping from danger.

The genius of the campaign lies in the subtle blend of unapologetic 1960s ideas with absurd humor. In once scene, The Most Interesting Man in the World, impeccably dressed, frees a grizzly bear from a trap with his bare hands. In another, we see him climbing out of a space capsule after splashdown.

There is no context, no explanation, just scenes from a life well lived, including flashbacks to his youth, grainy and yellowish. The mythology that is created is extensive; there’s even a meta-mythology: “The things you have heard about me, are all true.” Fake Spanish accent and all.

The Most Interesting Man in the World is an advertising campaign for the Dos Equis brand of beer, produced by the marketing firm Euro RSCG for Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery. The ads feature Jonathan Goldsmith and are narrated by Will Lyman.

There are generally two types of ads: one features the man giving advice or opinion about various subjects, and the other features a narrator describing the man’s distinguishing, but frequently absurd, accomplishments.

Some examples:

“He is the life of parties he has never attended.”
“He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels.”
“He’s won trophies for his game face alone.”
“His words carry weight that would break a less interesting man’s jaw.”
“If he were to punch you in the face, you would have to fight off the irresistible urge to thank him.”
“At museums he is allowed to touch the art.”
“Sharks have a week dedicated to him.”
“He can speak French, in Russian.”
“He bowls overhand.”
“He once punched a magician. That’s right, you heard me.”
“Both sides of his pillow are cool.”
“If he were to pat you on the back, you would list it on your resume.”
“When in Rome, they do as he does.”

Some of the advertisements have featured the man making a short statement on a particular subject, such as:

On Life: “It’s never too early to start beefing up your obituary.”
On Self-Defense: “The right look should suffice.” [Gives an intimidating stare]
On Manscaping: “I have no idea what this is.”
On The Gym: “Running in place will never get you the same results as running from a lion.”
On the Two-Party System: “The after-party is the one you want to attend.”
On Rollerblading: “No.”

These commercials typically end with the man saying either or both of the following:

“I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.”
“Stay thirsty, my friends.”

There is no independent or direct evidence on the effectiveness of the commercials. According to the company, U.S. sales increased each year between 2006-2010 and tripled in Canada in 2008, although exact figures were not provided. Sales of Dos Equis said to have increased by 22% at a time when sale of other imported beer fell 4% in the U.S. The agency rationale for the brand strategy was defined thus; “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.”

After hearing the commercials and reading about our Man, we’re left with a pressing question: Is the beer any good?

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. I only recently began hearing these commercials (radio) and I think they are brilliant. Too bad I don’t drikn beer.

  2. I found a little Mussar in “It’s never too early to start beefing up your obituary.” What would people say about us now, what will they say then? We don’t know when then will be.