Superlative Inspiration

remember the first time that I saw this man, Jonathan Goldsmith, in what I didn’t know then was just a beer commercial! The original one began — if I recall correctly — as a grainy, black and white ‘super8-style’ video and a voice-over describing the exploits of this ‘most interesting man in the world.’ You’ve most likely seen at least one version of this Dos Equis man of mystery, intrigue, and charm. To my mind, he puts James Bond on notice; step up the game, ‘old boy.’

Like all brilliant advertising, Goldsmith’s unnamed character and tagline are exquisitely fashioned and equally memorable: “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis — Stay thirsty, my friends.” So, what the hell was Dos Equis thinking when, after nearly ten years of smashing success and, quadruple-profitability, they sent this hero to Mars on a one-way trip?

Last Goldsmith commercial— Mission to Mars (image courtesy of Dos Equis via The Hollywood Reporter)

Goldsmith’s character persona — first and foremost , and the overall color and textures of the commercials, conveyed a realness and a warmth that appealed to both genders of consumers because of the context of the message: Dos Equis is the only choice for beer drinkers who value the satisfaction of mastering the art of living — don’t we all? The print and video mediums both pulled together all the key elements of good copy: visual and visceral appeal in both a generic and a unique sense. Everyone could relate to the hyperbolized story of this fantasy any man from anywhere.

But the core of it all was Goldsmith’s sophisticated, seasoned self who, through his masterful portrayal of ‘the man,’ embodied what every man wanted to be like and who every woman wanted to be with. Goldsmith’s physical appearance, poise, and voice already bespoke an ambiguous, multi-cultural, worldly, and virile persona. Goldsmith’s Dos Equis’ man had it all! The looks, the charm, the exploits, and the spoils of such. Was there really a need to introduce a younger, more ethnically-defined version of the ‘most interesting man in the world?’

No matter the tragedy of the end of the Goldsmith era with Dos Equis. Such a man and such a character do not just fade away into obscurity on another planet. No. Where there is money to be made, the void shall be filled and the hero shall rise again on another day and in another classy and whimsical commercial enterprise. If he told us all once, he said it many times over, “I don’t always drink beer …” All hail the new frontman of Astral Tequila!

Same ‘most-interesting man,’ pitching a new product (image courtesy of AdWeek)

Still, it’s not the same mystique-infused inspiration. I don’t always drink beer, but I’ve learned, through more than enough trial and error, to stay the hell away from tequila! You’re on your own now, Mr. Goldsmith. Cheers! Prost! Salud! Na zdrowie! Au revoir, mon ami.

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