The music sounds the same, and so does the voiceover. But Dos Equis' first round of ads without Jonathan Goldsmith playing the Most Interesting Man will take a decidedly new turn as the brew transitions this summer to its next campaign chapter.
Dos Equis will not unveil its next Most Interesting leading man -- or woman -- until late summer/early fall in conjunction with its new College Football Playoff sponsorship. In the meantime, ads are starring a couple of fill-ins: TV star and sportscaster Erin Andrews and actor Luis Guzman, who is known for often playing sidekicks.
The two celebrities will be featured in digital ads this summer that plug an "interesting index." Viewers are asked to visit a website where they can discover their interesting ranking. The index is derived from an algorithm that scrubs a person's Facebook data to determine scores for originality, thirst for knowledge, worldliness and sense of adventure.
In separate TV ads the imported beer will plug a new package design aimed at highlighting the brew's Mexican heritage as it enters its 120th anniversary next year. While the spots seek to educate drinkers on the new bottles and cans, they also tease forthcoming news about the Most Interesting Man's evolution.
Executives at brand owner Heineken USA remain mum on how they will replace Mr. Goldsmith. The actor made his final appearance for Dos Equis in a spot that debuted in March that showed him making a one-way trip to Mars. When quizzed about the coming new approach, Dos Equis Brand Manager of Marketing Andre Woldt said: "All I can say is that there is a new era of interesting on the horizon. That's as much as I can say for now."
He did confirm that Will Lyman will continue to provide the voiceover for Dos Equis ads, just as he did for the ads starring Mr. Goldsmith. He is known for narrating the PBS documentary series "Frontline."
"We feel he is an important part of the campaign. And while we want to evolve what interesting means today, I think a few tenants of the brand are very important to keep," Mr. Woldt said. He also said Dos Equis would stick with the same music, mostly. "Will there be an interesting spin on the music? Maybe. But we feel like we want to hit the right balance of looking forward, being more on culture, while keeping what makes Dos Equis really Dos Equis."
The brand is also sticking with Havas Worldwide New York as its creative agency.
Ms. Andrews' role appears to be temporary. Mr. Woldt confirmed she will not take over for Mr. Goldsmith. Neither will Guzman, the brand confirmed.
In the digital ads, the celebs do not repeat the Most Interesting Man's famous catchphrase, "I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis." Ms. Andrews instead says, "I can drink beer with the best of them, and when I do, I choose Dos Equis."
Mr. Goldsmith's final spot, called "Adios Amigo," has been airing regularly on TV since debuting on March 10. The 60-second version has amassed more than 1.3 million views on Youtube.
Mr. Woldt last week said the ad was scheduled to stop airing by the end of May. The spot -- and news of Mr. Goldsmith's exit -- has drawn gobs of attention for the brand. It was covered by more than 1,000 media outlets globally, earning some 3.5 billion earned media impressions across three continents, Mr. Woldt said.
The new package design is most apparent on cans, which display the brand's familiar red double X's vertically, rather than horizontally. The X's are shown bolder on cans and bottles.
The two X's have been present on the brand logo since it launched in Mexico in 1897 when it was called Siglo Veinte. That translates to "20th century" in English. The brand name was a reference to the then-coming of the new century. The two Roman numeral X's add up to 20. But most drinkers just called the brand dos equis, drawing on the two X's (dos equis in Spanish means two X's). So the brand officially renamed itself Dos Equis.
The new design is called "coin" in reference to a gold Mexican coin called the centenario, which was first minted in 1920 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Mexico's independance. In Dos Equis version, the coin shows an image of Moctezuma, the final ruler of the Aztec Empire, rather than the Angel de la Indepencia that is on the original coin. A reference to the coin was on the previous packaging but it is more prominent in the new look, displaying on secondary packaging as well.
The new design spells out "Cerveceria Moctezuma" across the bottom of the label. That is a reference to the Moctezuma brewery in Veracruz Mexico, where German-born brand founder Wilhelm Hasse brewed his first batch, according to the Dos Equis web site. The brewery is still in operation.
In another subtle change, the labels on bottles are now round, rather than square. That allows for more of the beer inside the bottle to appear, Mr. Woldt said.
Dos Equis entered the U.S. in 1984. It began as a low-profile brand sold mostly in Texas and California. But in recent years it has risen to become country's fourth-largest imported beer, according to IRI, thanks in part to the "Most Interesting Man" campaign. Sales in the 52 weeks ending May 15 grew by 7.9% to $330 million, according to IRI, which does not include bar and restaurant sales.