A few months ago, I subscribed to an HDTV service that carried the Voom HD channels from Cablevision. Slowly, these channels started dropping out of the channel line-ups. One of the first to go was Mojo HD, which featured one of the more memorable new programs,”Three Sheets” — a program that combined travel and drinking. Scripps Networks’ Fine Living TV picked up the series last month.
I thought the ad was well done and the positioning unique and distinctive. I had a hunch it would move some product for the brewer. Well, look at this: Ad Age is reporting their sales are up 17%:
Through mid-June, a period when imported beer sales dropped 11%, sales of Dos Equis rose more than 17%, moving the brand into eighth place among imports (in a tie with Stella Artois), when shipments rose 13%. That success prompted Heineken executives, who had been running the ads since 2007 in a few stronghold markets for the brand, to take the message national this spring.
“There’s never really been an import brand that’s been built so clearly through advertising,” said Benj Steinman, publisher of Beer Marketer’s Insights.
Equally unprecedented is the campaign’s reliance on two things rarely seen — actively shunned, even — in beer ads: a gray-haired protagonist, played in the Dos Equis ads by veteran TV actor Jonathan Goldsmith, who in every ad acknowledges that he doesn’t always drink beer.
But to hear the people behind the campaign tell it, there was really no other way to effectively attack the 2006 brief, which challenged the agency to “establish a distinctive, desirable and premium identity as evidenced by significant growth of key brand-tracking measures,” which would, in turn, be “different from other brands,” a “cool brand” and be “worth paying more for.”
They came up with a character who has spent his life, according to the grainy images in the spots, engaging in swordplay, leading mysterious expeditions, reeling in large sailfish and arm wrestling soldiers. The images are provided without context or explanation, which is the point.
Excellent results, my friends.