- Heineken's Dos Equis brand is replacing its iconic "Most Interesting Man in the World" actor as the campaign undergoes a revamp, which will launch this fall.
- Actor Jonathan Goldsmith has held his role since the campaign began in 2006 but will make his official disappearance as he boards a rocket ship for a one-way trip to Mars (in an ad) that debuts this week.
- Heineken USA didn't comment on the replacement actor or plotlines for upcoming spots, but the company told Ad Age its focus is on modernizing the campaign but still retaining iconic elements. That will include better alignment with the brand's new sponsorship of the College Football Playoff on ESPN, which begins this fall and is expected to play a significant role in Dos Equis' marketing plans.
The "Most Interesting Man in the World" may soon be the most interesting man on Mars.
The potential reasons for the actor swap are varied, including everything from the actor's age, 77, to a legal tussle over commissions a talent management agency is demanding from Goldsmith (Heineken disputes the allegations and has countersued). Heineken USA didn't confirm either of these reasons.
Still, swapping out an iconic actor is risky, and casting will be tricky to maintain the image consumers have come to expect from the campaign. Considering Heineken hopes to appeal to younger beer drinkers, its strategy may be to use a younger actor. Dos Equis stood out from the beer marketing trend when it chose an older spokesman to begin with for this campaign.
This decision was strategic, former senior brand director Paul Smailes told Ad Age in a 2012 interview. Marketing execs felt the campaign would offer a protagonist that young male beer drinkers could strive to become rather than see a successful mirror image and be reminded of accomplishments not yet achieved.
But times have changed with the generation of the selfie and social media. The allure of "The Most Interesting Man in the World" could be transformed by a younger actor, such as a millennial or Gen Xer, taking on the persona of a James Bond-type character. Or the brand may stick with what works and find an actor that makes a less noticeable transition for the campaign.