Tag Archives: Dos Equis

the most interesting men in the world

He wouldn’t be afraid to show his feminine side, if he had one.

His mother has a tattoo that reads “son”

At museums, he’s allowed to touch the art

He is the most interesting man in the world!

We have 3 campaigns that feature a certain kind of man.  I refer to the most interesting man in the world.  Sorry, I mean of course, the most interesting man in the world!

This Dos Equis ad.  

The Old Spice ad featuring Bruce Campbell.  

The more recent Old Spice ad.  

And most recently, the DQ ad in which a guy says “I’m not just playing a guitar, I’m playing a guitar that sounds like dolphins.”  

The men in these ads appear to have somethings in common.  They suffer from overweening self regard and total self possession.  These are the people for whom the term “supercilious” was invented.

We have noticed hyperbolic males here before.  Charlie and Barnie, characters in Two and a Half Men and How I Met Your Mother, respectively, as played by Charlie Sheen and Neil Patrick Harris, respectively, are self-regarding males.  But what marks them as males is not just the fact that they are self self aggrandizing, but a still deeper cynicism.  

The DosEquis,OldSpice,DQ man is much too vain to entertain cynicism. Cynicism requires a knowledge of the world outside yourself.  DEOSDQ man does not know about the world outside himself.  

So where is this guy from, why are we using him, and why is he, in the Old Spice case, so spectacularly successful as a cultural artifact?

The good news is that our culture used to produce these males, on screen and in the world, without a hint of ridicule.  James Bond and other spies were all about “touching the art,” that is to say, claiming special privileges that came to them because of their special status. (License to kill!)  

And this is what make these guys funny.  We are not laughing with them, we are laughing at them.  But there are lots of ridiculous artifacts that can be retrieved from the backwash of our culture.  

Why this guy now?

Betty White versus Karen Black: your CCO assignment

As everyone saw, Betty White underwent her pop culture apotheosis Saturday Night when she served as host of Saturday Night Live.

No doubt Lorne Michaels thought this was a good idea, but the first mover in Ms. White’s ascent was a Facebook campaign. Well, that and a Snickers ad (eyes right).

It’s up to the Chief Culture Officer to decide what Betty White tells us about the state of contemporary culture.

One possibility is that she signals a willingness to rethink the way we portray people of age. Paul Thomas Anderson, the film director, seemed to me to signal the possibility of a change. The Dos Equis "most interesting man in the world" spot might (I repeat might) be more data on point.  Modernista did an ad for Cadillac a couple of years that could also qualify.  

Well, there are lots of possibilities.  I leave these to you.  The point of this post is to get a clearer idea of who Betty White is as a cultural artifact.  Before we figure out the significance of Betty’s SNL appearance, that is to say, we need to know the significance of Betty White. 

And that’s your CCO assignment.  I suggest we scrutinize Betty White by contrasting her to another star.  For your own purposes, you may choose any comparison that suits your fancy: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kim Kardashian, or Diane Sawyer.  But for this assignment, the comparison is Betty White and Karen Black.  

The assignment: Compare and contrast Betty White and Karen Black.  Use point form.  No more than 500 words.  Scale up from the descriptive differences to the cultural ones. Submit to grant27ATgmail.com in the next week or so.

The prize: $100, a copy of Chief Culture Officer, and a VOWEL award.  (The last stands for the Account Planner, Anthropologist, Ethnographer, Insight and Observation Award [AEIOU]) (This award is highly coveted and immediately take a job application to the top of the heap.) You will also get a place on the VOWEL Winner Hall of Fame on the CCO Ning network.  Previous winners: Juri Saar, Reiko Waisglass, and Brent Shelkey.

You may pick up your pencils…now!


Betty White Snickers’ Ad here.

Stevenson, Seth.  2009.  The Most Interesting Man in the World: The star of Dos Equis’ New Ad Campaign is Too Cool to Shill Beer.  Slate.  May 25.  here.


BBDO New York 
(I can’t find names for the creative and production team responsible for the Snickers ad. I would be grateful to hear from anyone who knows them.)

Carole Walker, head of integrated marketing communication at Mars.