How the Dos Equis Brand Became a Cultural Phenomenon

He can speak Russian….in French.

His charm is so contagious, vaccines have been created for it.

And when he becomes the international face of a small import beer from Mexico during an economic recession, he drives sales into the double digits while his competitors suffer losses.

The Most Interesting Man in the World

The Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World, played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith, is one of the most memorable ad campaigns of the last ten years. In the same tradition as “Facts about Chuck Norris”, and “Anchorman” character Ron Burgundy, the Most Interesting Man in the World has infiltrated North American culture. His youtube video views are in the millions. The saying “I don’t always ______, but when I do I _____” has become legendary. If you were to type “Most Interesting Man in the World” into Google image search, these are some of the (tamer)  examples of images you would find:

most-interesting-man-in-the-world-meme-funny The-Most-Interesting-Man-In-The-World-2014 stay-thirsty-chuck-sm

The Question

Suffice to say, Dos Equis beer succeeded spectacularly in creating a brand that resonated with its audience. But what specifically about the brand and its promotion made it so successful?  Dos Equis has been sold in the USA since 1973, though it was hardly known outside of Texas and California. So why between 2006-2010 did sales  increase  up to 22% when general imported beer sales dropped by 4%?

The Answer

Because in 2006 Dos Equis carefully constructed a brand to match their beer, developed based on the meticulous research of their targeted audience.

Target Audiences

Far too often, we generalize and stereotype our target audiences. Beer is typically marketed to young males between the ages of 20-35, and the tactics to engage this audience haven’t changed much over time. Beer companies typically associate their audiences with party lifestyles and an obsession with women and sex, and have built their brands accordingly, promoting them with material we are all likely familiar with.

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But Dos Equis took a different route. Dos Equis wanted a brand that would be cool, unique, and upscale. Working with Euro RSCG, they conducted extensive research to better understand their young audience and how they could best connect with them. Their main finding was that these  men wanted above all else to be considered interesting, by both their peers and women. And so, The Most Interesting Man in the World was born. A suave, wise, 70-something-year-old face for the brand. A man who is depicted as having had a lifetime of positive, interesting experiences, to which their audience could aspire. And perhaps most brilliantly, the age difference between the consumer and The Most Interesting Man in the World insured he would not be seen as a competitor or threat. The strategy worked, and the sales numbers soared.

This is possibly one of the best examples of how listening to your audience is crucial in developing a viable brand. You can have a great product (like beer), but without a brand that your audience can effectively relate to, success is going to be limited. How do you relate to your favourite brands?

“Im not always in charge of branding, but when I am, I listen to my audience.”- The Most Interesting Man in the World

Feature image thanks to http://www.fastcompany.com

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