The Most Interesting Article You'll Ever Read …
No group has a bigger fear of being uninteresting than young, beer-drinking men.
This idea inspired Karl Lieberman and Brandon Henderson of New York ad agency, Euro RSCG, to come up with an advertising campaign that centered around a character who has blossomed into a cultural icon.
Their task was to promote a beer from Mexico.
The target audience: people who were looking for less mainstream choices in life.
Around this time, a video on YouTube began racking up the hits. It attributed outrageous and humorous facts to George Washington, like he’s “got a wig for his wig and got a brain for his heart” and “the sons of his opponents wish he was their dad.”
With the irreverent tone of this video in their head, Leiberman and Henderson started asking themselves the question …
How could drinking a beer from Mexico make a man seem more interesting?
They decided to apply an “insane level of hyperbole” to someone who drank Dos Equis.
They came up with lines like …
“He once had an awkward moment just to see how it feels.”
“The police often question him because they find him interesting.”
The Most Interesting Man in the World campaign was born.
They needed a way to bring beer into the picture.
Their boss, Jeff Kling (the man behind the Miller High Life’s The High Life Man campaign I talked about yesterday), came up with the perfect transition line …
Near the end of the ad, The Most Interesting Man in the World says …
“I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos Equis.”
They added the tag line "Stay Thirsty My Friend" and they were in business.
In June of 2009, while imported beer sales dropped 11 percent, Dos Equis rose more than 17 percent. Plus, a cultural icon was created.
There are a couple of lessons that come from this.
- It often takes more than one attempt to hit a home run. Lieberman and Henderson's first attempt didn’t go well. It revolved around the phrase “Say Si to the Mexican Way.” So remember, if you should come up with less than stellar headline and lead or idea, don’t be discouraged.
- Keep tapped into what’s going on — What are people talking about and watching? Great ideas come from other great ideas.
What do you think of the Dos Equis campaign? Do you have stories about how you discovered a good marketing idea in an unlikely place? If so, post your comments here.
And be sure to tune in tomorrow when I reveal how, on a limited budget, one company created a campaign that has been called "the most influential in modern advertising."
Here are a few more lines from The Most Interesting Man in the World campaign:
Even his enemies list him as their emergency contact.
He lives vicariously through himself.
His small talk has altered foreign policy.
Sasquatch has a photograph of him.
His organ donation card also lists his beard.
He bowls overhand.
He built a city out of blocks. Today 600,000 people live and work there.
The only man ever to ace a Rorschach test.
Every time he goes for a swim, dolphins appear.
If he were to mail a letter without postage, it would still get there.
He taught a horse to read his email.
His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man's entire body.