“The Most Interesting Man in the World” has just lost his job. The distinguished older gentlemen who made Dos Equis beer famous, Jonathan Goldsmith, will be swapped for a younger model.
Heineken, which owns the Dos Equis brand, is trying to appeal to Millennial beer drinkers and “contemporize” the campaign. And that means the elder Goldsmith, 77, will have to find other work. The actor, however, doesn’t have hard feelings.
Speaking to USA Today, Jonathan said that he has “put all of myself into this character.”
“What you see on screen was all there long before this role was created — the beard, the mischief, the tan. I have a tremendous lust for life that hopefully comes across in my portrayal of The Most Interesting Man.”
The Dos Equis ads have become famous thanks to Goldsmith’s portrayal of the dashing, rich, and fascinating man. The spots, about 30 to 60 seconds, each focused on the legendary list of life experiences racked up by the “suave, masculine” character, from running with the bulls to ski jumping without a helmet, playing Frisbee with a seal, and walking over hot coals.
The ads’ hilarious one-liners, demonstrating the Most Interesting Man’s superior qualities, became famous: “He once parallel parked a train,” “He’s on the upgrade list for flights he hasn’t even checked into,” “His blood smells like cologne,” “His former landlord uses him as a reference,” “He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels,” “He can speak French…in Russian.”
Goldsmith’s tagline also became iconic: “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis… Stay thirsty, my friends.”
Jonathan Goldsmith said the ads have led to a level of fame he never expected, according to the Washington Post.
“It’s overwhelming recognition. I would be literally mobbed.”
The Dos Equis ads were his big break. Before then, Jonathan had a long list of TV credits, but he wasn’t memorable. When Goldsmith auditioned for the Dos Equis ad, he decided to channel his friend, Argentinean actor Fernando Lamas.
“So I thought about him and how funny he was and how charming and a great raconteur, so I put on my best Fernando imitation,” Goldsmith recalled. “And they started laughing.”
Jim Hord, the creative director at ad agency Havas, said he was immediately impressed by Goldsmith.
“(Goldsmith) had the perfect blend of maturity, stateliness,” he remembered. “He brought the beard. We didn’t go into it thinking it was going to be a guy with a beard. And 2007, that was before beards were cool.”
But the sun has set on Jonathan Goldsmith’s time as the Most Interesting Man. Dos Equis VP of marketing Andrew Katz said the new actor will reflect how society has changed in the past decade.
“Culture has changed very dramatically. Our Millennial drinker has changed quite dramatically, and the competition has only exploded with the advent of craft [beer]. We just want to make sure that the story evolves… The essence of the brand is that you need to stay thirsty for life, whatever it is that you’re doing.”
Jonathan Goldsmith’s replacement will keep the Most Interesting Man character alive (it “will feel familiar, but it will be different,” Katz told Advertising Age), but he’ll fit more into a new deal with the College Football Playoff the company has signed.
Heineken has worked with people who’ve worked on the James Bond movies to make sure that the essence of the character will remain constant, even as a new actor steps in to take Jonathan Goldsmith’s place.
And he is leaving as Dos Equis spokesman in truly interesting fashion — by flying off to Mars accompanied by a pretty female astronaut — “a brave pioneer who will not be returning.” Jonathan said his character intends to “populate Mars” and will “maybe send word to my friend Sir Richard Branson to arrange for some Thai takeout, a few good books, movies, and fresh flowers. Oh, and a steady supply of adventurous female companions, naturally.”
[Image via katz/Shutterstock]