retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Advertising Age reports that the Most Interesting Man in the World has made a career move that could undermine his mass appeal.

The Most Interesting Man in the World, as most people know, is the fictional character created for an ongoing series of Dos Equis commercials and advertisements, uttering the tagline, "Stay thirsty, my friends." He is played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith, who, despite a long (though largely undistinguished) acting career, has become virtually undistinguishable from the character he plays.

But that's become a problem. Because Goldsmith hosted a Barack Obama fundraiser in Vermont yesterday.

A number of GOP Dos Equis drinkers have said they will now be choosing a different brand now that the Most Interesting Man in the World has made clear his political preferences ... and they have taken to social media to make their case.

According to Ad Age, "Brand importer Heineken USA closely guards what Mr. Goldsmith does in character, but since he is hosting the event as a citizen, the marketer has less leverage. In a statement, the company told Ad Age: 'Mr. Goldsmith's opinions and views are strictly his own, and do not represent those of Dos Equis'."

But it is a great example of how personal decisions, especially in this day and age, are no longer purely personal ... and how, thanks to the power of social media, instantly can become very, very public. (That's the business lesson...take a political position, and you run the risk of alienating a percentage of your customers.)

Of course, what is not mentioned in the Ad Age piece - but is worth noting - is the fact that beer has become a kind of touchpoint for the Obama campaign in this cycle. Perhaps because President Obama realizes that he has trouble connecting with blue-collar, middle class voters, he has been photographed and videotaped numerous times in bars, sharing a beer with and occasionally even buying a round for patrons. (It has not gone unnoticed that he is doing this while facing an opponent who, because he is a Mormon, does not drink alcohol.) And, Obama has mentioned numerous times, and even said last night on "Late Night with David Letterman," that he has installed a home brewing setup at the White House.

None of this, of course, really means anything. Nor should it affect how anyone votes.

But I love this stuff....
KC's View: