Dos Equis versus Old Spice: Does viral always mean brand power?

Jonathan Goldsmith, the man behind Dos Equis' "The Most Interesting Man in the World"

Jonathan Goldsmith, the man behind Dos Equis' brand power. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Toglenn/Wikipedia)

Brand power can be defined in a number of ways, but ultimately each definition will mean very little if it does not translate into sales growth for the product. Fast Company writes that Dos Equis beer and Old Spice men’s deodorant products both have extremely popular spokesmen who have gone viral online, but only one of the products has experienced consistent sales growth. While Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” (Isaiah Mustafa) has attracted more than 94 million views on YouTube and more than 630,000 Facebook fans, retail market intelligence organization a SymphonyIRI found that sales of Old Spice Red Zone body wash recently fell 7 percent. On the other hand, Dos Equis’ equally viral “The Most Interesting Man in the World” (Jonathan Goldsmith) has translated into consistent sales growth over the length of the two-year campaign.

Procter & Gamble did experience greater brand power overall

According to the SymphonyIRI study, Old Spice parent company Procter & Gamble did experience sales growth for men’s products overall. Yet it does not attribute the growth to the presence of the sculpted Mustafa. Rather, the company claims that an aggressive, high-value coupon campaign helped its brand power. Over a four-week period ending June 13, Procter & Gamble experienced sales increases of 277 percent for Gillette and 63 percent for Nivea Men. Old Spice increased 106 percent but quickly fell in the months following the study period.

Experience that moves units

Enter “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” He is a man of the world who has experienced life. He is smooth and confident. Rather than being a slick, sculpted young man like Mustafa’s Old Spice Guy, Goldsmith’s character extols the value of experience that only time can bring. And this has helped Dos Equis’ brand power a great deal. Brand manager Ryan Thompson told Fast Company that sales of Dos Equis rose by 26 percent since January 2010 alone. Keep in mind that this campaign isn’t just getting off the ground; it’s been around in earnest for two years. Goldsmith first began his association with Dos Equis in 2006. “We’re now the fastest growing beer import in the country,” says Thompson.

Infinite experience versus fleeting promise

“The Most Interesting Man in the World” brings infinite experience, never jaded. His simple wisdom speaks to both sexes. “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” who is likely directed at female shoppers and homosexual men, purrs the fleeting promise of pleasurable experience, perhaps through fantasy wish fulfillment. A pleasurable moment does not in itself translate into a life well-lived. Goldsmith, a veteran television actor, showed some simple wisdom of his own when he told Fast Company that when it comes to Dos Equis, “I think the campaign is so successful because every man, including me, would like to be like him.” Experience has proven to be a huge cash advance for Dos Equis. Men choose the “Most Interesting Man” not merely for a moment, but for all time. To have truly lived is to be a master of the game.


Fast Company

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