Posts Tagged ‘Dos Equis’

Carlsberg Video Raises the Bar

October 31st, 2011

For years I’ve felt that some of the planet’s poorest marketers were breweries.  But while several beer brands continue to pummel us with exceptionally weak efforts (I’m talking about you, Miller Lite), brands such as Dos Equis, Corona, Stella Artois and Blue Moon have been serving up smart, strategic, entertaining advertising campaigns.

The latest example of out-of-the-can thinking is this viral video from Carlsberg beer.  As of the time of this posting, it had received almost 8 million viewings, and for good reason.  Like many great movies, this very cleverly conceived and produced video makes us feel a little uneasy in order to engage us deeply and make us empathize with its story.  And the ending makes us feel good about everyone in the video, as well as about the brand that has just entertained us so royally.  What’s more, it shows that brand in use, and makes us wish we were using it ourselves.

Maybe I’m a little biased by the fact that one of my favorite memories is having taking a 10:00 am tour of the Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen on a break between graduating from business school and starting my career. What made the tour extra special is that I took it with the then-75-year-old brother of Jerry Siegel, the creator of Superman. Still, I feel I can objectively state that this video is, well, super.

Mr. Siegel, this Carlsberg’s for you!

McDonald’s New Ads: I’m Not Lovin’ It

April 24th, 2010

The good news:  here’s a sneak preview of three new spots from McDonald’s. The bad news:  here’s a sneak preview of three new spots from McDonald’s.

From the Advertising Age column that reported on the ads, it looks like McDonald’s considers them to be a major breakthrough, but I’m not buyin’ it.

Describing the chain’s “I’m Lovin’ It 2.0″ campaign (which she termed “our multi-billion dollar asset”), McDonald’s CMO said, “We’re bringing it out from behind the arches and into the action to better brand and celebrate those uniquely McDonald’s moments.” Well, I guess that sounds like something a CMO would say, but the words don’t match the reality, at least in my world.

Maybe it’s just me, but the image of a bear terrorizing motorists and destroying a car doesn’t strike me as a “uniquely McDonald’s moment.”  Instead, this TV spot just reminds me of horrific news reports of such things that have actually happened; it certainly doesn’t make me smile or give me a warm and fuzzy feeling, nor does it make me crave McDonald’s food.  The second TV spot, which shows a dad continually going around the drive-through without stopping so as not to wake his sleeping baby, was a little better.  But it evoked only a slight and brief smile rather than the ear-to-ear grin it worked so hard for, and once again it didn’t do anything to whet my appetite.  And the three-minute online video showing thousands of teens and twenty-somethings around the world paying homage to the Big Mac struck me as clueless egotism. McDonald’s employees might get all choked up when they think about all the Big Macs they sell, but I don’t think the typical consumer gets all that excited or emotional about the topic.  I also couldn’t help thinking that most of the slim-waisted female celebrants depicted in this big-budget, narcissistic spectacle wouldn’t go near a Big Mac.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this video were pitched to the client as McDonald’s version of Coca Cola‘s legendary “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” commercial from nearly forty years ago.   If so, that pitch is as bad an example of truth-in-advertising as is this three-minute video.  “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” worked because the spot celebrated humanity, which is something worthy of celebration; the new McDonald’s video doesn’t work because it celebrates a 576-calorie sandwich.

While I’m piling on, I’d also like to take issue with the notion that “I’m Lovin’ It” has been a hugely successful campaign, although I’m admittedly relying purely on anecdotal evidence.

Anecdote #1: I can’t personally recall a single McDonald’s ad from this from the past several years; they’re all part of a big blur.

Anecdote #2: I have never heard anyone–not one person–ever make a reference to the “I’m Lovin’ It” line.  When you’ve invested that much time and money in your advertising, it seems to me it should be part of your target audience’s everyday conversation, like Nike’s “Just do it” or Wendy’s decades-old “Where’s the beef?”  Let me ask you:  Of all the times you’ve chosen to express your pleasure with something over the past five or six years, have you ever once said, “I’m lovin’ it”?

Anecdote #3:  I think “I’m Lovin’ It” is one of the least interesting, least provocative taglines in recent memory.  Great taglines are clever and maybe even have a little double entendre working for them; “I’m Lovin’ It,” on the other hand, is just an unimaginative way to say “I really like this product.” Isn’t that what every advertiser wants you to think?  Then why are we supposed to find the McDonald’s message interesting or motivating?

In contrast, I can’t tell you how many times my buddies have uttered the words “the most interesting man in the world” or “stay thirsty my friends”, yet Dos Equis has likely spent a fraction of one percent of what McDonald’s has spent.  The difference?  While Dos Equis’ words tell an engaging story and reflect a distinctive idea, McDonald’s flatfooted words provoke nothing but indifference.

So count me as someone who has never loved–or even liked–”I’m Lovin’ It.”  And someone who’s giving “I’m Lovin’ It 2.0″ a 2nd floor rating.

The Most Interesting Ad in the World

May 28th, 2009

For some time now one of my favorite TV and radio advertising campaigns–both as a consumer and as a marketing professional–has been the Dos Equis “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign. It is simply brilliant on several levels.

First–at least if my circle of buddies is any indication–it generates incredible word-of-mouth activity, as we giddily alert each other of new executions like tweens texting about the latest Jonas Brothers release. And its tagline, “Stay thirsty, my friends”, has become part of our vernacular.

Second, while being somewhat outrageous from an entertainment standpoint (“He is left-handed. And right-handed.”), it is actually refreshingly understated from a brand-sell standpoint. In contrast to ads that claim their product is the only one that should ever be–or is ever–consumed, Dos Equis is secure enough to have our Most Interesting Man say, “I don’t always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.” Not “I only drink beer” or “I only drink Dos Equis.”  Of course, this makes perfect sense, as The Most Interesting Man in the World obviously has too many scruples to speak anything less than the unvarnished truth. In fact, I’ll bet he doesn’t even accept payment for appearing in the ads. Or if he does, he donates it to charity. Because, after all, he is…The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Third, the campaign works! Dos Equis sales are up significantly since the campaign started, despite a budget that’s a fraction of what the bigger brands spend. Anecdotally, the campaign motivated me to purchase Dos Equis for the first time in years, and I’m glad it did; I’d forgotten what a good beer it is. Which brings up a critical point: this campaign wouldn’t work for just any beer. Dos Equis has a distinctive flavor that isn’t for everyone. Once again, this makes perfect sense. I mean, you wouldn’t expect The Most Interesting Man in the World to drink Budweiser or Miller, would you?

Kudos–and thanks–to Dos Equis importer Heineken USA, and to the agency that developed the campaign, Euro RSCG Worldwide. Please keep satisfying our thirst for your most interesting advertising.