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Monday, May 15, 2017

Metaphorical Empty Chair Mondays

Okay, so where am I?

I'm at the beach pondering life. Some days call for what I call "Metaphorical Empty Chair Mondays." These are deep days were I watch the sun rise or set above the California coast.

The sound of the sea lets me close my eyes and look for clarity. My soul evolves to feel the light rising. I set the chair out next to me to release the burdens that life injects into my inner core blocking the light of intelligence. My prayers are less spiritual, but more metaphorical. They act like white sage, first creating a fog and then burning away the negativity the blurs the vision. The empty chair creates the strength on the days I'm weak and broken. It's a place in my head where my thoughts can move and find life. Imagination is restored and roams free in the din of dusk. The empty chair provides the inspiration that connects with the sound. The sounds of meditation - the filter which allows the greatness I expect and demand.

Yeah, yea, pretty new agey. But what do you expect from a Media Guy who was forced to memorize astrological signs and moon and sun relations instead of watching Charlie's Angels in 1977? Honestly, meditation is a key factor from creative genius. Clear your mind of the B.S. and you can fill it with much better hubris; the kind that drives you to a higher place. That's what I needed today.

So what got me here? I suppose it was this spot that I wrote back in my misogyny days where sexiness sold:

It took almost four years, but it made it to the airwaves and my long-awaited $1,000 royalty check was finally released. Hallelujah(!) and apologies that my past commercials keep creeping into play. These days, my campaigns are tame and kid-friendly. That being said, the spot has already gained fertile ground in the Land of the Rising Sun and there's talk of a sequel. Jeez, what took them so long?!

But the euphoria of small-time cash didn't last long as I fantasized about creating that perfect advertising character and campaign that would put me in the lore of legend. Setting the bar high is not a new thing. I mean, I've won Clio Awards, Emmy Awards, Telly Awards and the like, but what's escaped me is that truly transcendent idea. My mind was clouded. I needed a refresh. That's where the beach came in. What a revolution it turned out to be.

He is the life of parties that he has never attended...
All of this got me thinking about staying thirty in my career. Of course, if you you're going to start thinking about staying thirsty my friends, you're going start thinking about Dos Equis. And, if you're going to think about Dos Equis, you're definitely going to think The Most Interesting Man in the World, their iconic spokesperson.

It's been over a decade since we first heard, "I don't always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Does Equis." It was at the beginning of the quirky ad campaign era, leading with an arrogant and unorthodox endorsement of the beer with pedestrian US sales. Unflinching, the phrase was delivered by the Most Interesting Man in the World, a Hemingway-esque bearded man who chronicled his unique adventures in globetrotting.

The campaign led the way to replace young and anonymous characters with a completely approach. Hemingway doppelgänger Jonathan Goldsmith embraced the role, confidently laughing his way through a canon of pithy short spots incredibly written and told through the prism of antiqued video footage. It was met with raised eyebrows and critic bashing. The campaign continued, found a following and the now Heineken-owned brand's sales rocketed up shot up 22%.

Now, in true Lord of the Flies form, Dos Equis has become the exact thing it didn't want when it started the campaign. Goldsmith has been replaced by (you guessed it) a younger, millennial-friendly 41-year-old Frenchman, Augustin Legrand. Goldsmith made his final appearance in a commercial that sent his character on a one-way mission to Mars and just as quickly, Legrand took up the campaign’s banner.

Andrew Katz, Dos Equis VP of Marketing explained, “The meaning of ‘interesting’ has evolved over the past decade, and this campaign features a new character and look and feel that opens the door to a world of interesting possibilities for today’s Dos Equis drinker.”

The news release explained it another way, stating it was “reinvigorating and modernizing ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’ with a fresh face to showcase a character who reflects what is interesting to today’s Dos Equis drinker and to millennial beer drinkers 21 years and older.”

It remains to be seen how the next iteration of this character plays, out but the geniuses from the worldwide marketing firm Euro RSCG have their iconic character that I've dreamed of having on my resume. I can only guess that came from many mornings at the beach.


Here's some of my favorite claims to fame from "The Most Interesting Man in the World," a decade long compilation of Dos Equis ads:

“Presidents take his birthday off”
“He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels“
“His signature won a Pulitzer”
“He lives vicariously through himself“
“If opportunity knocks, and he’s not at home, opportunity waits“
“His 10-gallon hat holds 20 gallons”
“Bigfoot tries to get pictures of him“
“When he goes to Spain, he chases the bulls”
“Bear hugs are what he gives bears”
“He is the life of parties that he has never attended“
“In museums, he is allowed to touch the art“
“He has inside jokes with people he’s never met”
“His tears can cure cancer; too bad he never cries“
“He is considered a national treasure in countries he’s never visited”
“Once he ran a marathon because it was ‘on the way'”