‘Stay Thirsty, My Friends’

At times in my life, commercials really aggravated me. Back when I was a communist, for example. But the older I get, the more mellow I become…kind of like a good, single-malt whiskey, now that I think about it. Of course, I realize that it’s not really any sort of accident of brain chemistry or gentling of character brought on by aging that makes commercials easier to bear. No…the sad truth is, it’s likely caused by gradual improvements in mind-control software set to runautomatically whenever the wetwire drive the aliens implanted comes within preset limits established by my 32″ Sony Trinitron television. Or something like that.

For good or ill, I’ve found myself actually enjoying commercials for the first time since I was a child. Enough so that I’ve even created the Evil Robots Kool Commercial Award. Which, as it turns out, has been recently awarded to Dos Equis. Not because (mind you) I plan to actually BUY Dos Equis product…which I think is beer. But the ‘Stay Thirsty, My Friends’ commercials are really pretty kool.

They remind me of 1970’s James Bond movies…specifically those flicks in which uber-playboy 007 is played by Sean Connery. The commercials also remind me of a great first-person shooter video game that came out a few years back called ‘No One Lives Forever’. I’m not exactly sure why, since the hero in that game was a female and the ‘hero’ of these commercials is an old hairy Latino man. Which now that I’ve spelled it out really sounds pretty gay, all things considered.

Be that as it is not, Dos Equis wins by a landslide, and I’ll take my martini extra-dry, thank you.

“People hang on his every word, even the prepositions,” the Dos Equis voice-over tells us, as the aforementioned hairy old man drags a treasure chest from the crystal-blue Caribbean onto a beach mostly populated with scantily-clad Caribbean womenfolk. “He can speak French…in Russian,” the voice-over continues, as the International Man of Koolness is revealed in a snazzy tuxedo walking through what is most probably his ancestral home, a castle on the coast of Spain, perhaps. Don’t you love the word ‘snazzy’?  At this point in the commercial, our hero is like a bearded Mr. Roarke from ‘Fantasy Island’…so much so that I find myself (on repeated viewings) looking around for snazzily-dressed midgets.

And…finally…Mr. Roarke/007 looks straight at US…sparing a moment from the absolutely charming Euro-trash babe on his arm to let us know, matter-of-fact: “I don’t always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.”

Stay thirsty, my friends. What’s not to like?

Of course, MY version would have to be very different. The beer would need to be Natural Light (‘Natch) or perhaps Milwaukee’s Best (‘The Beast’). I would look up at the camera, snazzily-dressed in my ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod’ t-shirt, with a “paid companion” on my arm: “I don’t always drink beer,” I’d tell you. “Sometimes I’m in the mood for heroin. But when I do drink beer, I prefer… whatever is cheapest.”

Now THAT’S honesty in advertising.

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