EXCLUSIVE: After Fox announced it will reduce $250 million through generous retirement incentive packages for film/TV employees, and 30-year-old Detroit Lions superstar Calvin “Megatron” Johnson claimed he’d hang up his jockstrap, early retirement is clearly in the air. With Super Bowl 50 days away, we gotta ask: is The Most Interesting Man In The World also being put out to pasture? A source tells Deadline that the 10-year ad campaign for Dos Equis beer has filmed its final installment, to air during Sunday’s game. The commercial, we’re told, will show The Most Interesting Man in the World — played by the debonair, well coiffed Jonathan Goldsmith — being rocketed to Mars. There, he’ll be left stranded, like the plot of a certain Best Picture Oscar-nominated film.
Now, the brand Dos Equis has not even acknowledged that it has bought time during the game, much less that it is ending the run of its iconic pitchman. But if my tipster is right, this is certain to generate huge buzz among this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads, and it’s not without risk. Last year, there was an uproar over a Nationwide ad that depicted a kid living a great life, only to be revealed as dead at the end of a commercial that buzz-killed Super Bowl parties all over America. To decaying football-watching men across the country, this could be worse. The Most Interesting Man In The World has allowed that beer-drinking demo to live vicariously, 30 seconds at a time, through a man whose 007-like playboy life is just way more interesting than ours. His effectiveness as a brand symbol is undeniable: the ads have been so successful that, according to Ad Age, they helped turn Dos Equis from a low-profile brand sold mostly in Texas and California into the country’s sixth-largest imported beer.
No one involved in the ad campaign would talk on the record, but a source at Radical Media, which shoots the ads, told Deadline, “I don’t know how much longer that campaign is going to go on.” Attempts to confirm with Havas Worldwide, the ad agency behind the campaign, were unavailing. Naturally, The Most Interesting Man In The World requires a publicist, but when we found the one who reps Goldsmith, we were told only that “the actor is on hiatus.” A publicist for Will Lyman, who does voice-overs for the ads, said he “does not like discussing any current employers.”
Now, if they can bring Matt Damon’s space botanist back from Mars after several years like they did in The Martian, it seems possible that the ever-resourceful Most Interesting Man In The World could MacGyver his way back to Earth for future spots. Is the versatile World’s Most Interesting Man also a space botanist? Just another question that will leave us thirsting for answers this weekend, to go with the mystery of whether Denver Broncos quarterback (and fellow superstar Madison Avenue pitchman) Peyton Manning will retire after the completion of Sunday’s game. Stay tuned.