Monday, July 7, 2008

Stay Thirsty, My Friends

As a "writer", (I will continue to use quotes until someone else deems this an appropriate title) it's imperative I do my research when writing...even if just for a blog.  I want to come across well-versed and knowledgeable on my matter how mundane they may be. 

As I decided to write about Dos Equis and my new favorite ad campaign, I realized at twenty-six I may not be qualified for this topic having never drank a Dos Equis.  Needless to say it didn't take long to convince myself to buy a six-pack at the gas station across the street.  

One Dos Equis down.  The writing has reconvened.  

Being a professional in the marketing/advertising field (notice lack of quotation marks there as I'm confident I've earned this title), my friends constantly make fun of me for my love of commercials.  I adore tivo, but if I had it my way, I wouldn't fast forward through the commercials. I'd actually pause them, rewind, make comments with friends and even debate with my if we don't do that enough already.  Call me a nerd, but I like to watch them, research them and take notes on them.  Nerd.  

Dos Equis has come out with this riotous multi-platform ad campaign centered around the Most Interesting Man (MIM) and it is truly hysterical.  If you haven't seen it yet, go ahead and check it out on YouTube.  (My sincere apologies for not knowing exactly how to post a video on this blog.  Keep in mind I am a work in progress and need Keith's help.)  For those pessimistic creative minds that complain daily "all the good ideas and slogans are gone," let me introduce you to the MIM campaign that started back in 2006 and is still going strong.  Just because we all got beat to the punch doesn't mean we should pout in the corner thinking every ounce of creativity has now been used up.  The campaign continues in the pursuit of all things hilarious with seven TV and three radio spots with one-liners including:

"His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man's entire body"
"His charm is contagious, vaccines have been created for it"
"His legend precedes him, the way lightning precedes thunder"
"Fellas, leave the tight pants to the ladies.  If I can count the coins in your pocket, you better use them to call the tailor"
"It's never too early to start beefing up your obituary" (my personal fave)
"Happy hour is the hour after everyone from happy hour has left"

Two Dos Equis down and I'm starting to feel like writing and drinking could possibly go hand in hand.  I feel it important to note here that advertising is a lot like supporting your favorite band or musician by buying their CD rather than illegally limewiring it.  I must give kudos to a great campaign to drive up their ROI.  After all, I think they deserve it.  In todays cluttered market where patrons are bombarded with advertising messages everywhere from the bathroom stall, to GPS text messaging, it's hard to stand out and get people not only talking about your product, but ultimately buying it.  So I feel at peace with my decision to knock back a few cold ones on a weeknight.  I'm sure the creative execs would do it for me had this been my brilliant idea.  

I actually caught wind of this campaign long before I had seen a commercial.  I was at a local patio bar with a group of friends when they started impersonating Jonathan Goldsmith, the actor in the spot, with their own renditions of his one-liners.  (I must point out, that out of 45 or so entries on, it seems these spots are the most noteworthy for Goldsmith.)  I won't lie and say I got it AT ALL, nor will I admit it was very funny.  But if anything, it did intrigue me.  It isn't often that a group of guys, on a Friday night, at a bar, bring up a commercial and talk about it in a good way (unless of course it's Paris Hilton trying to sell Carl's Jr. hamburgers by washing a car in her bikini).  It wasn't until after a pocket-sized portion of research did I actually get what these character friends of mine were doing, and after seeing the spots it made complete sense and made me laugh out loud (which is antonymous to LOL). The funniest part was knowing these characters decided to drink Dos Equis merely in hopes of setting the stage for their improv parody of MIM.  It made the night. 

My course of study and my profession always lead me to question any great campaign and how it relates to dollars.   It's common knowledge that it costs tons of money to write and produce TV spots (and that doesn't factor in the cost of air time which is beyond ludicrous), but how does it relate to a company's bottom line?  

In 2007, Heineken increased its marketing budget in the United States by 53% to continue to beef up the sales of Dos Equis and Tecate.  USA Today reported that in 2006 and 2007, Mexican beer accounted for half the import market and sales were up 15% and thought to continue on the incline.  The Mexican beer market has been hot for a few years so it only makes sense to put your money (advertising dollars) where your mouth is.  Literally.    

I searched all over this thing we call the world wide web and I didn't come across any concrete numbers on how the MIM campaign correlates into sales for Dos Equis (also Heineken).  Dos Equis has cultivated a multi-faceted campaign over the years to include cooler promos (the frosted doors of convenience stores to entice last minute decision makers to choose their brand in lieu of their neighboring cerveza), Breeders' Cup Sponsorships, partnership programs and more so it's nearly impossible to know the exact fiscal impact (unless you're privy to financial statements).  

If anyone knows a website or statistic to showcase how business and sales have increased (or decreased for that matter) for Dos Equis please let me know.  Meaty numbers aside, I know this campaign has sold at least one six pack (I'm such a rebel-I've already consumed half).  CNN also reports because of popular demand these spots will segue into a five-show reality series creating an extension of the media campaign but a spin-off in the search for the "Most Interesting Assistant" to assist the "Most Interesting Man".  Go figure.  Check out the Dos Equis website where hundreds of people have already applied for this gig ( I simply cannot find it in my bones to discriminate reality TV because I will be waiting for this series with baited breath (and probably the commercials too). 


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

tequila makes her clothes fall off..

For those of you who missed the season finale of "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila 2", you missed a dose of entertaining "reality" tv and should count your blessings for unnecessary reruns that MTV is infamous for.

Poor petite, bi-sexual, raunchy Tila was dumped at the altar after a grueling second season in hopes of finding love (operative word-second). Tila has long been riled with the turmoil of whether she wants to be with men or women (see what I did there-I left it plural because I don't foresee her being monogamous).

After Tila gave a heart-wrenching goodbye to broke-jaw Bo, she was ready to give the coveted key (which is a symbol of her heart or more accurately her va-jayjay), but to no avail. Now Kristy, the model from New York (which I adamantly protest the fact she's an actual model) is the one with the perplexed bi-sexual dilemma and is riddled with her preferred choice of anatomy. What's a girl to do?

The kicker to this remarkable finale was Tila's quote after getting dumped. "What am I doing wrong? I just want to find love." Wow, did those words really come out of her disease-free mouth? Ok, Tila, you asked, so let me count the ways to guarantee you won't fall in love:

For starters, we are all privy to the fact your real name is not in fact Tila Tequila. With a stage name like Tila Tequila, what kind of love did you expect to find. I will however, cut you some slack since your legal name is Thien Thanh Thi Nguyen. Ouch. Let's also note that this stage name first surfaced when she was experimenting with alcohol in middle school when she realized she was allergic to alcohol. Hold up, the chick that takes a shot of tequila (or supposedly) after each and every key ceremony is allergic to alcohol? Could have fooled me along with millions of others. Does one wash back the benadryl with a shot of tequila to overcome said allergy?

For the Houstonians out there, it's imperative to mention exactly how Tequila was discovered, because it's nothing short of inspiring. On a lovely day of shopping at Sharpstown Mall, Tila was approached by a young entrepreneur for a chance to model nude. Wow-what an offer. All kidding aside, that's the best offer you're going to get at Sharpstown Mall since most of the offers usually start with something like "give me your purse" and end with something similar to a gunshot.

I wound venture to say your next tactical error is your indecisiveness on choosing men or women. The mere inability for me to decide what restaurant I want to eat at on a given night is almost grounds for breakup, but I certainly have the preference of a plug or an outlet down pat!

Also, haven't we ALL learned by now that reality tv is not the place to find love? What's the saying.."fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me." Tila, you got it all wrong with Bobby on the first season, why the heck would you come back for more? Oh, but I mustn't forget you had a boyfriend of five years during season one. Sorry that didn't work out. You seemed to have such an open relationship. You crazy alcoholic you.

Tila-you are not Annie Lennox. I am fairly confident that making your pseudo boyfriend walk on broken glass to show his love for you is NOT the way to find true love. You've now put 2 guys in the hospital in the span of 48 hours-your record is utterly astonishing. Nor would I recommend making your lovers gorge on bull balls, pig vagina, a mandatory strip show complete with lap dances or having them partake in slutty challenges on a weekly basis to help find love. There are much better ways to find maybe? How about trying a nice Sunday afternoon outside Starbucks? You can get shots there, maybe not tequila though. Probably good for your allergies. Also, I'm not sure how you have the audacity to ask someone you've known for less than 2 weeks to sit in an electric chair or get a tattoo of your name, all in the name of Tila Love. I don't think I'd sit in an electric chair for my teacup chihuahua and his intellectual capacity and handsomeness far surpasses any of your contestants.

I'm sure your 'forget me not' businesses aided your potential suitors in the quest to fall in love with you. Your clothing line "Tila Fashion" is plagued with the slogan "So hot you'll want to take it off". Even while attempting to sell clothes, you can't keep them on. I'm sure any guy (or girl) would consider you marriage material. And let's not forget your website aptly titled, "Tila's Hot Spot", which at one time necessitated an age verification upon visiting and still requires a monthly fee for viewing rights. This screams marriage material. Just think, if your lover has family far away that you can't meet in person, they can always visit your website to get a feel of who you are. I'm sure they will welcome you into the family with open arms. Such a thinker you are. The fact that you are most known for your appearances in Stuff, Maxim and Penthouse really speaks volumes of you and should be the highlight of your resume. Continue to emphasize that in every facet possible.

Did I mention in the above twenty five million reasons of things you did wrong that making out with your boyfriend's mom, brother, sister and dad probably didn't help secure the love you were so longing for? I don't mean to judge, I'm just saying.

Needless to say, this finale was MTV's surefire way to pledge the return of "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila 3". Kristi K. had a good point--maybe they should name the new season something along the lines of "I Survived a Japanese Game Show to Win Tila Tequila's Heart AND a Free Bottle of Cheap Tequila" to secure higher ratings.