Dos Equis started the “Most Interesting Man in the World” advertising campaign quite a few years ago: 2006, in fact. Recently, a new ‘most interesting’ man was chosen to be the face of the advertisements. However, although this video ("Dos Equis the Most Interesting Man in the World Plays Handball," the link to which may be found at the end of this article in the citation) may be outdated, its impact (and the impact of the other ads in the series) is important and lasting.
Feminist complaints have been raised about these videos, and some of these issues have even been addressed in the new campaign. The original campaign did run for 10 years, in spite of these complaints. In general, it seems that the humorously implausible activities in which the Most Interesting Man participates clouded the negative aspects of the videos for many people. The fact that such negative aspects can be glossed over in society today is disturbing, and proves that feminism is still as important today as it has ever been (perhaps even more so, as it is becoming increasingly difficult to pinpoint the inequalities in our society as they are buried under other things).
At the beginning of the ad, the Most Interesting Man is shown playing handball. Right off the bat, the association of sports with a man being interesting is made. Next, he is seen showing hieroglyphs to an unknown woman. She looks like she might even be an archaeologist, or other historian of some sort. Mansplaining, anyone? After this, hang-gliding is the next activity. Now men must not only be athletic, and explain things to women in subject areas they aren’t qualified in, they must also participate in dangerous activities to be considered interesting. At the close of the video, the Man is shown in a bar surrounded by young women, and finally the beer itself is shown. Why is it that only the Most Interesting MAN in the World can represent a brand of beer? Where is the Most Interesting Woman? When will other gender identities be recognized?
Clearly, both women and men are portrayed negatively in this advertisement. The only women are secondary characters that are expected to look up to, and learn from the Man. This should act as a lesson of how NOT to act. However, as so many people think these ads are charming and witty, this is problematic. Unrealistic standards of how men should act according to common masculine stereotypes are also perpetuated through this ad. I’m certain that some would argue that no one really believes in the ideals these advertisements uphold. These people ignore the fact that every negative representation of gender in popular culture acts to reinforce how people behave on a subconscious level.
The postfeminist movement is wrong. This video proves that feminism is still very much needed. Until people in general can understand the real issues underneath advertisements like this and many others, the fight for equality must continue. If this representation is what the general public considers to be the most interesting a man can be, I’m happy to be boring.
[The Most Interesting Man in the World]. (2016, September 27). Retrieved March 10, 2017, from http://www.realclearlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/MG_5554RetouchedV2-1940x1126.jpg
[World Players of Handball Foundation]. (2013, April 16). Dos Equis most interesting man in the world plays handball. [Video File]. Retrieved March 10, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5HX7y1yDi4.