King of Creation Myths!

We have a cliché in advertising that goes like this, “Don’t sell the steak. Sell the sizzle.” In a previous post I offered some opinions about Nationwide’s “The World’s Greatest Spokesperson in the World” and Geico’s caveman. In my opinion, the caveman is the greatest spokesperson. Both Nationwide and Geico promote their brands in a current context, but the caveman is rooted in science and history. However, I said that I thought there was someone better. That brings me to Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World.” What sets him apart is that his story is told retroactively.

“His blood smells like cologne.”

Each character represents a certain iconography, but “The Most Interesting Man in the World” doubles as a creation myth. Every successful brand has creation myths and a creation story. There can be only one story about how the brand came to fruition. It’s tangible, it’s documented, and it can be recounted by the founders. A creation myth establishes the brand’s personality. The myth is everything that the story isn’t. It can’t be proven, no one really knows if it’s true, and it never dies. People may very well forget how a company got started if enough time passes by, but there’s a saying that goes, “A rumor isn’t really a rumor if it doesn’t die.” That’s the beauty of it. The truth gets stretched over time and it may eventually become outlandish. So what would happen if a brand was based solely on creation myths? You’d have Dos Equis Cerveza.

“He lives vicariously through himself.”

“The Most Interesting Man in the World” is an older gentleman who embodies the definition of cool. “He’s the best example of sizzle I’ve ever seen. The best sizzle… anyone… has ever… seen!” He’s old, but we have no idea exactly how old he is. That gives his creation myth an incredible amount of power. His exploits can go on forever as long as they happened already. Besides coolness, his image embodies experience. The character works so well for the brand because he’s so over the top. For those who enjoy telling a good story, exaggeration adds to the excitement. Every time the story is told, it gets better. Below is a compilation of “The Most Interesting Man in the World’s” exploits. It’s so funny, I feel like I’m overindulging just by watching.

“He once had an awkward moment just to see how it feels.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVwG1t-NVAA

I would love to work on this campaign. I think it’s brilliant. It’s too bad I don’t see the spots more often. His myths are exaggerated, but the humor is very subtle. A similar style is used in TV comedy. The best examples I can think of are “Family Guy” and “Everybody Hates Chris.” In both shows, there are constant flashbacks and they are absolutely outlandish– but that’s the charm.