Since 2004, Dos Equis and all of the Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma brands, which also include Bohemia, Carta Blanca, Sol and Tecate, have been marketed in the U.S. by Heinken USA through an agreement they signed with FEMSA, a multi-billion dollar beverage company in Latin America.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A COMPILATION OF THE ADS
The latest ad campaign Heineken is just launching and the plan is to position Dos Equis as a premium product through a nationwide push using spots called the “Most Interesting Man in the World” and with the tagline, “stay thirsty, my friends,” whatever that means. The advertising agency that created the ads is Euro RSCG, which is apparently the fifth largest global ad agency in the world and headquartered in New York City. If you click on the ad to the left, it will open a new window at AdWeek where you can watch the first commercial. This first one is something of an introduction, setting the tone for four more that will begin airing next week. Here’s how AdWeek describes the commercial.
It opens on a bearded, tuxedo-clad gentleman bench-pressing two comely nurses. A narrator intones oddly intriguing descriptions of the man, e.g., “His blood smells like cologne,” as the character continues to do implausible things, like freeing a bear from a trap.
Ultimately, we see a more mature MIM, with a touch of gray in his hair, seated at a table surrounded by beautiful women. He says, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.” The spot ends with the tagline, “Stay thirsty, my friends.”
There will also be radio spots, print ads in Stuff magazine and the MIM is featured on the Dos Equis website along with a separate website, staythirstymyfriends.com. You can also see all four commercials at that website.
Now the ad is well-produced and are not without some humor, but they don’t seem very different from almost any other beer ad created by a big name ad agency. What did strike me as odd and a little interesting was the following about just how Euro RSCG sees the ad campaign.
From the AdWeek story:
For Euro RSCG, the spot is a conscious attempt to elevate the often-lowbrow imagery associated with beer ads. “The stain of the Swedish bikini teams still lingers. Those kinds of ads are targeted at beer-drinking morons,” said Jeff Kling, ecd at Euro RSCG in New York. “We saw this as an opportunity to talk to people a little differently. It portrays a different kind of drinker.”
Raise your hand if you know what’s wrong with that. The “Most Interesting Man in the World” (MIM) is not low-brow? It can be distinguished from the Swedish Bikini Team? This is not aimed at morons? It displays a different kind of drinker? So let’s look at those statements.
- Not Low-Brow: The MIM is Ricardo Montalban without the Corinthian leather and sporting a beard. He’s classy with a capital “K.” This is every cliche of sophistication and in my opinion lacks any authentic portrayal of it whatsoever. It looks like what a drunken frat boy might consider high-brow.”
- No Lingering Babes: Uh, exactly what do you call the two Asian nurses in tight white uniforms in the beginning or the two babes in low-cut black cocktail dresses at the end? They may not be wearing bikinis, but they’re cut from the same cloth.
- Not Aimed at Morons: Because arm wrestling is the way intelligent people settle their political differences or spend an evening of fun. Worse than that, at the website you can “test your skills” by arm-wrestling a “deceased head of state.” They get bonus points for not realizing that Winston Churchill was not a head of state, but Prime Minister. The Queen is head of state in Great Britain. Another non-moronic game you can play at the website is a “Test of your resilience and fortitude” that involves holding down the spacebar on your keyboard as long as you can or want to. Now that’s sophistication.
- A Different Kind of Drinker: Freeing bears from traps and fishing for Marlin. Frankly I’d be worried about liability for all those different drinkers who had themselves a 12-pack and then actually tried to free a bear. I don’t see how this is in any way a departure from the same inanity that’s graced our TV sets for decades.
The ads aren’t really any worse than any other bad beer ads, but what I find troubling is how the ad agency speaks about them. Is it just me, or do their statements seems completely divorced from reality? Because if they were really setting out to show beer in a different light instead of how it’s been portrayed for a very long time, I think they utterly and completely failed in that regard. I for one, plan to not stay thirsty. Perhaps a nice beer with do the trick.