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The Most Interesting Man In The World is an image macro series based on an advertising campaign for Dos Equis beer. The captions typically follow the phrasal template “I don’t always X, but when I do, I Y.”
The advertising campaign was created by the global marketing firm Euro RSCG Worldwide. The ads starred American actor Jonathan Goldsmith as “the most interesting man” with narration by Will Lyman, best known for his narrating role in the public affairs TV program Frontline. Goldsmith’s character is known for his catchphrases “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis,” and “Stay thirsty, my friends.”
The ads first aired in the United States in 2006 and were uploaded to the wistl1976 YouTube channel on April 10th, 2007. The same month, the promotional website StayThirstyMyFriends.com was launched, where fans could upload videos of themselves performing toasts with a bottle of Dos Equis.
On November 18th, 2007, the advertising news blog Advertising 305 published a post about the ads, calling the campaign “a stroke of genius.” On December 9th, Time Magazine listed Dos Equiis as a top TV ad of 2007. On April 24th, 2008, a thread was posted about the campaign on the Texas Longhorns enthusiast HornsFans forums, in which forum member wolfman compared Goldsmith’s character to the martial artist Chuck Norris.
On May 25th, 2009, the news blog Slate published an article, claiming the ads took “aesthetic cues” from the work of film director Wes Anderson. On June 4th, the food blog Eat Me Daily posted about the campaign, remarking that the character had its own Twitter-impersonator (the Twitter account has since been deleted). On July 2nd, People Magazine interviewed Jonathan Goldsmith, who revealed he lived on a 47-foot boat in California. An archived 4chan post with racist versions of the Goldsmith character dates back to August 3rd. The Internet Wayback Machine’s first snapshot of the Meme Generator page for “Most Interesting Man in the World” was taken on November 22nd. The page allowed users to created image macros using a photo of the Goldsmith as the Dos Equis man. In January of 2010, a Quickmeme page for “The Most Interesting Man in the World” was created, in which the first image macro was captioned with “I don’t masturbate often / but when I do, I use women.”
On February 11th, Vitamin Water began a parody campaign called “The Most Ridiculous Man in the World” featuring Canadian basketball player Steve Nash. In the videos, Nash is portrayed as a bizarre character who says the catchphrase “I don’t always drink water, but when I do, it’s Vitamin Water” and “Stay vitaminized, my friends.” As of April 10th, 2012, a Quickmeme page has over 96,000 submissions and a Facebook page has received over 243,000 likes.
Ask Me Anything (AMA)
On August 1st, 2013, actor Jonathan Goldsmith started an Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session on Reddit to raise donations for Clear Path International and Mines Advisory Group, two non-profit organizations that are dedicated to aiding Vietnamese people who have been injured by land mines and explosives forgotten from the Vietnam War.
Q: What is your favorite “Most interesting man in the world” fact?
A: He once warned a psychic.
Q: Do you realize that you have INSANE sex appeal to woman (and men) of all ages?
A: It has been rumored and I rather like it.
Q: Who do you think is the second most interesting man in the world?
A: Nelson Mandela is actually first, but don’t blow my cover
Q: How did you get the part in this commercial? Was this persona of “the most interesting man” something you or Dos Equis came up with? What is your favorite place to travel?
A: The beginning was a cattle call of over 500 people. I didn’t think I was what they wanted for the role and forgot about it. a month later… it was 200 people. Then 6 more weeks went by and they still had not found who they were looking for. They went on a casting mission both nationally and internationally. I screen tested with three other fellows and I was the lucky one. Listen closely and you will hear the sound of knocking wood.
Q: What are the 7 words Eskimos use to call your beard?
A: 1) lovely 2) strong 3) ticklish 4) charming 5) mysterious 6) tasty 7) electric
Q: How do you feel about the level of popularity of your memes?
A: I’m very honored and consider it a mantle of pride to live up to. For the most part the jokes are enjoyable and I am grateful that people take the time.
Q: What event / moment made you realize that the commercial you made was something special?
A: When I was recognized by a 7 year old in a Mexican restaurant as what he wanted to be when he grew up, and a week later in NYC being knighted with an old man’s cane on a bus. He was in his eighties and he said “Sonny when I come back, I want to be you.”