Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man May Be Different, but the Ads Aren’t So Much

First full spot from Havas rolls out

Dos Equis is out with its first full commercial featuring its new Most Interesting Man in the World. And he looks, perhaps unsurprisingly, like a rugged twist on a dazzling young Heineken guy.

The famous brand character, now played by French actor Augustin Legrand, is still an impossibly suave sportsman. But the silvered wisdom of his predecessor in the role, Jonathan Goldsmith, has given way to a thrill-hungry roguishness that unfolds on camera, as he races airboats, spars in samurai armor, and punts coconuts through goal posts formed by giraffes.

If Goldsmith was the elder statesman of not being boring, Legrand is its brash middle-aged barker.

Notably, the Most Interesting Man now has a partner in crime—a woman with whom to share the adventures, and compete in them. Goldsmith, who introduced the role in 2006, defined it for almost a decade, and retired from it earlier this year, played a version that seemed a perennial bachelor.

And in a tweak of the campaign's "Stay Thirsty" tagline, his "my friends" has become Legrand's "mis amigos." That tracks to the first spot teasing Legrand, launched last month, which also found him conversing in Spanish—a nod to the beer's Mexican heritage.

Otherwise, though, the structure of the ad is almost identical to the original series. The copywriting remains the centerpiece, with droll and hyperbolic lines celebrating the Most Interesting Man's prowess.

"The new Most Interesting Man is a man of action," says Toygar Bazarkay, chief creative officer at Dos Equis agency Havas Worldwide. "He's never one to reminisce on times past, which stylistically changes everything. With a faster pace and more energy, we're reinvigorating and modernizing one of the greatest campaigns."

Dos Equis, now owned by Heineken (which bought its parent brewery in 2010 and continued Goldsmith's character), is framing the LeGrande reboot as aimed at meeting new definitions of the word "interesting" among millennial audiences. Its release is also timed with the launch of the brand's sponsorship of College Football Playoff—hence the new ad's reference to a tropical not-quite-pigskin (other spots themed around the sport will also follow).

The new presentation also bears striking resemblance, in spirit, to some of the advertising in recent years for Heineken's namesake brand, which has featured various "Legends" and "Man of the World" characters—usually dapper, James Bond-esque charmers (and sometimes 007 himself)—zipping around the world, sweeping up women, or hapless tourists, into grand exploits.

That similarity may say more about the limited number of ways to portray a beer-drinking male ideal, or about the hyper-masculine advertising zeitgeist that Dos Equis has been key in shaping, than the new interpretation of the character.

What is clear is that even if the younger Most Interesting Man has paired off, he's not quite settled down.