There's no brand quite like Dos Equis, and there's no advertising icon quite like the Most Interesting Man in the World - he who doesn't always drink beer (but when he does, prefers Dos Equis).
I was one of the first writers on the Most Interesting Man campaign, and worked on it for almost five years, seeing it go from a regional ad buy to a national phenomenon.
Bringing the Most Interesting Man in the World and his many legends and exploits to life was an exhilarating challenge. It required nuanced writing and art direction to ensure that the Man never became gimmicky, and always retains a sense of mystery and class.
My extensive work on this brand has had its results:
- over 1.89 million active fans on Facebook (the most of any beer brand)
- multiple award nominations and wins (Cannes Lions, Radio Grand Mercury, Effie, D&AD)
- countless references and imitations as a pop culture touchstone
- 40% growth sales since the campaign went national
I was integral to the success of the campaign, creating interactive, TV, radio and print work from concept through delivery.
I serve currently as Executive Creative Director, Head of Branded Content for Electus Digital. Among my responsibilities is overseeing all branded content for the #1 YouTube comedy channel, CollegeHumor. Here are some successful campaigns.
FOOTAGE COMING SOON!
To kick off the 2015 US Open, American Express created You Vs. Sharapova, the first truly interactive consumer application of the brand new HTC Vive virtual reality headset.
Fans got to go head-to-head with tennis legend Maria Sharapova, returning her volleys, groundstrokes and famous serve. And American Express, who are all about giving their Card Members access to amazing experiences, got to give them an opportunity no one else could.
The press loved the game, and wrote about it weeks before it even came out:
When it came time to surprise people in the days leading up to the 2014 Pepsi Halftime Show, most other agencies pitched big glitzy, youth-oriented stunts. Instead, we made a genuinely heartwarming documentary about making Super Bowl halftime dreams come true for one lucky old man. And it worked.
STALLED, a film written by and starring Maryll Botula, takes place entirely in bathrooms.
THE GHOST IN YOUR LIBRARY was shot in the space of 24 hours.
Both films were made "NYC cheap"... i.e. less than it costs to pay two month's rent.
Both films screened publicly in 2016.
Working with McCann's Microsoft agency, m:united (the biggest account in advertising history), I focused on core products including the Lumia / Windowsphone with Cortana, the Surface Pro 3, the Lenovo Yoga. The campaign began with a very guardrailed 'white cyc' approach that I found interesting ways to break through.
In one Valentine's Day TV run, we turned expectations of phone owner's relationships with their phones on its head.
In another, I got the chance to turn almost 10,000 billboards around London into updates from Cortana, Windows' clever A.I.
Okay. So maybe The Burg, which debuted in June 2006 and posted episodes regularly through 2008, was not the first webseries. But it was the first web sitcom made in New York, and the first to get significant press, audience, acclaim and Hollywood attention.
We completed one season to a truly fantastic response, then integrated Motorola into a 9-part miniseries in 2007, which allowed us to successfully fund the show. Our plans for additional seasons were then put on indefinite delay in 2009 due to various scheduling conflicts.
The Burg starred Kelli Giddish (later of Law and Order and Chase), Lindsey Broad (later of The Office and Til Death), Matt Yeager, Jeff Skowron, Bob McClure, Chris O'Connor and Maria Hurdle. My primary partners in this project were Kathleen Grace, Matt Yeager, Ana Veselic and Johnny North.
Exemplary Episodes (click to watch):
Hip or Dangerous (our first, and shortest, piece)
Cred (first full episode)
Bar (terrible production values, but a fan favorite)
Fan Mail (a dramatic reading of a piece of hate mail we received)
Training (another fan favorite)
Show (our closing episode of Season 1)
Change (our most recent episode)
And here you can download our press kit, which has many of the original articles on The Burg.
The Big Apple becomes The Big Pickle in honor of National Pickle Day
You’ve probably enjoyed a snack from McClure’s Pickles (mcclurespickles.com) – makers of pickles, relish, potato chips and bloody mary mix. With roots in Brooklyn, NY, McClure’s has been gaining popularity nationwide.
So, in honor of National Pickle Day this November 14th, the team at McClure’s has transformed Manhattan into one enormous pickle.
Visitors to the Instagram account @McCluresPickles_NYC will see a series of pictures that at first appear to be random images of pickles. But the pics have been geo-tagged, and by viewing them in Instagram’s often overlooked map feature, users will see they’re arranged throughout Manhattan in a pickle shape. For an additional layer of entertainment, each slice of the Big Pickle includes a shoutout to a New York neighborhood where shoppers can find McClure’s products. And, in order to enjoy future pickle content, fans are directed to follow McClure’s official Instagram account, @McCluresPickles.
This is more than just a joke about the shape of Manhattan. It’s the first time a brand has used Instagram’s map feature to advertise.* The Big Pickle was created by Lindsey Montague (lindseymontague.com) and Thom Woodley (thomwoodley.com), in cooperation with McClure’s founder, Bob McClure.
Will Manhattanites start calling their city the Big Pickle? If McClure’s has their way, definitely.
HASHTAGS: #NationalPickleDay and #TheBigPickle
*Instagram’s map feature is only available using the mobile app, not web browsers.
To kick off the 2015 US Open and celebrate American Express' partnership with Maria Sharapova, we hosted a huge event called Rally on the River.
We invited American Express Card Members to a party on Pier 97 in Manhattan, but did not tell them what was in store. What they saw when they got there was a tennis court and an immense water wall. And Chromeo in the DJ booth. And tennis legend Maria Sharapova, starting things off with a bang. And the water wall coming to life with amazing projections. And random audience members being selected to play tennis, the projections interacting with their every move. And Kevin James, coming in for the fun. And tennis stars John Isner and Monica Puig helping to knock it down. And a fifty foot Sharapova capping it all off.
In short we captured the competitive spirit of the Open in an unforgettable way.
Childhood asthma is scary enough. Why does their advertising have to be? We knew that if we could put a message into clickworthy pop songs by internet vet Parry Gripp, that kids would watch over and over again - and that means their parents would also learn the lessons that could keep their children from having attacks.
These videos were produced in partnership with The Ad Council.
Granted, it hasn't come out officially yet. And the gameplay video attached is an early prototype, made before I came on board. But as a lifelong James Bond fan, the chance to work with amazing mobile games developer Glu Mobile on this legendary franchise was too good to pass up. I'll be developing story and dialog. My 13-year-old self has never been more proud.
In 2012, San Francisco game company Pocketgems approached me to help them develop a platform for a new format in mobile games: interactive storytelling. Think a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure in visual format, or a soap opera that changes based on your choices, or an addictive app like Farmville, but with a story attached.
In 2013 we brought to the Canadian and UK markets the first installment of 'Episode Interactive': a game called Campus Crush, based on a sorority-building game Pocketgems had released the previous year. We wrote and programmed 100 episodes of the story, in which you play a freshman sorority pledge who uncovers a strange conspiracy involving the school, her friends and boyfriends, and possibly even her own history.
Now in 2014, Episode Interactive has launched to the public in the U.S. You can go there now to try out any of the games available on the platform. Or, contact them to write your own. Currently, I am working with them on another game, built off of an original screenplay.
Even if a sorority-based game is not up your alley, I am very proud to have participated in the creation of a new medium in mobile interactive storytelling, and I'm very excited to see what develops in this space.
Hornitos Tequila wanted to move from a position of storied authenticity, to one of legitimate yet urbane fun. We helped them, by turning their stuffy old website into a GIF machine that perfectly captured the vibrant excitement and flavor of a Hornitos night. Check it out in real life here.
Dentyne wanted something bold and attention-getting to drive new trial in key cities. We linked chewing gum to building confidence - and emblazoned our messages across mirrored surfaces in Canada, Brazil and Turkey. We even built a Cinder-powered 'magic mirror' that let people's own reflections do the talking for them.
Greg and Donny is a webseries created by Matt Yeager and Jeff Skowron (also of The Burg and All's Faire). Yeager and Skowron write and star in the project, which centers around two everyday guys in Johnstown, PA.
I was brought on early as their frequent director. A 9-minute pilot, Greg and Donny Set Up the Machine, was made for the 2010 New York Television Festival. I directed with Johnny North. This pilot ended up winning the top prize at the festival, a development deal with IFC. A new pilot was filmed by Hollywood director Troy Miller; however, the series ultimately did not make it to air.
When we started as the lead creative team on Pepto Bismol, they had a problem: how to grow sales of a product that practically every American already has in their medicine cabinet? Let alone one that for everybody is linked to 'upset stomach, diarrhea'.
We chose to focus on shared occasions, holidays and cultural milestones. You know, the times when everyone tends to gather round, eat and drink a little too much… or a lot too much. By focusing on the celebration rather than the symptom, we started to change people's concepts of what Pepto is and why you should always have it handy.
In nine months, we almost tripled the Facebook fan count. And about that double digit growth? Sales grew 16% before the year was out.
Sauza tequila hit upon a great idea to target women who love margaritas: hot shirtless guys who love making them margaritas even more. The only problem was, they didn't know how to bring their creation to life online. We took the reins and turned the Sauza Lifeguard into a digital mainstay, complete with fun videos and printable items.
The All-For-Nots is a webseries produced by Dinosaur Diorama and Michael Eisner / Vuguru. It debuted in 2008 online and on television on Mark Cuban's HDNet. At the time of its debut, it was the largest webseries production to date (75+ episodes over the course of 6 months).
Due to international sales rights, all episodes can only currently be seen here on Blip: http://blip.tv/the-all-for-nots.
The All-For-Nots starred a cast of musician-actors including Kevin Johnston, Vanessa Reseland, Michael Moravek, Erica Harsch, Brian Cheng and Marielle Heller. I was also among the cast, as well as being one of the creators/producers (along with Kathleen Grace), writers (with Matt Yeager and Andrew Wagner) and composers (with Johnston, Reseland and Kyle Jarrow). The show came about after Michael Eisner approached Kathleen Grace and I with an offer to buy and produce more episodes of The Burg. We declined that offer in favor of making a new show.
We originally pitched this project as a 13-episode, roughly 2-hour gritty mockumentary series called Faces For Radio. Our vision would that it would be edgy, dirty, and shot mostly with available light, as we booked our invented band into real clubs and took them on a real tour. Instead, Mark Cuban's HDNet agreed to air the show on TV, which necessitated an unpgrade to large HD cameras. Dodge Nitro and Expedia.com came on as sponsors. Before we knew it, we were producing 24 full length episodes, each with 1 to 3 shorts attached, for a total of 75+ pieces totaling almost 6 hours of content over 24 weeks.
When casting, we looked for musicians first, and we ended up forming a band that actually became real. We played shows all around New York, toured Montreal and Boston, and kicked off the series with a big show at SXSW in 2008. We recorded a 12-song album (mostly to score the series). But the highlight was definitely our performance on the Jimmy Kimmel show in June 2008.
All's Faire is a webseries produced by Dinosaur Diorama. It debuted with nonsequential episodes in 2008 and a full 14-episode season in 2009. All's Faire was created by myself and Bob McClure, written by myself, McClure and Matt Yeager, and directed by myself and Johnny North. It starred Michael Pemberton, Trevor Jones, Letitia Lange, McClure, Yeager, myself, Jeff Skowron, Maryll Botula, Joe Thompson, Mike Still, Josephine Roberts, Mandy Bruno, Robert Bogue, David Chase and Rolls Andre.
All's Faire began life as early as 2003, when Bob McClure and I sat down to write a feature about the Renaissance Faire. After several years of tinkering and some interest by small production companies and independent producers, we heard that there was another feature comedy in pre-production about a Ren Faire. We decided we would plant the flag and be the first out with a Ren Faire comedy.
We launched several short episodes in 2008, right on the heels of the launch of The All-For-Nots. These were well received critically. From there we planned the shoot of a full feature-length season in 2009.
We partnered with the Midsummer Renaissance Faire in Pennsylvania, and the New Jersey Renaissance Kingdom. Both faires happily contributed their costumes, sets and people to the cause. The end result was a series that developed a relatively small but intensely passionate audience. The Renaissance community embraced the show and helped it grow. It got noteworthy attention from the mainstream webseries community as well, being nominated for Streamy Awards for Best Ensemble and Best Music, and for the first Writer's Guild Award for Internet Writing.
To celebrate their Winter 2009 line, Lacoste wanted a short-term site: something bold, catchy, and full of momentum.
We conceived and crafted Lacoste Momentum, a site allowing Lacoste fans to create their own one-of-a-kind music videos inspired by a selection of hot tracks and the Lacoste line. Central to this site was our creation of a real-time video kaleidoscope, in which keystrokes caused changes of color, product, and launched jumping models, all adding up to a truly unique music video. To keep the momentum going, users could share the video as well as their Lacoste holiday wish lists to the world.
In 2009, Dos Equis scored big with its Most Interesting Academy. We needed to build on that - getting more people enrolled and spending even more time on site. Enter the Most Interesting Cargo Hunt.
With a story about the Most Interesting Man in the World abandoning his 150 most valuable artifacts in the midst of a crashlanding, we launched a national search at dosequis.com/cargohunt. Backed by heavy media play including an original video and event booths at popular concert sites, the Cargo Hunt had as its central feature a map-based game that rewarded users with Monopoly-style artifacts (as well as real-world instant win prizes). With a real cargo-hunting trip to Mexico as the prize, enrollment doubled that of the previous year's effort, with many contenders coming to the site multiple times a day.
Just for fun, I make card-based tabletop games, like Story Cards (which allow kids to tell spontaneous and open-ended fairy tale stories) and YOU & the Argonauts (a board game where you compete to get the Golden Fleece, using the skills of different Argonauts).
In late 2014, I began my podcast, Fail to the Chief.
It's the first comic history podcast dedicated to discussing the men who tried - and epic-ly failed - to become President of the United States. From Aaron Burr to Mitt Romney, I go into detail about who they were, why they chosen, why they lost, and what the world would look like had they won, all with a humorous edge.
Episodes are posted every two weeks and will run through the presidential election of 2016. You can subscribe on iTunes or download directly from my page. You can also follow on Twitter @FailToTheChief.
Tsingtao asked us to reposition and create a new global campaign for Tsingtao, the world’s #1 valued beer brand. Recommending a dramatic departure from a traditional Chinese image, we developed the platform, tagline and creative campaign around “Traditionally Break Tradition.” Quickly embraced by importers and retailers, this ‘World Beer’ positioning was then adapted across print and social media, and activated on and off premises.
And then sometimes, I just have fun.
Click through to see a lot more instances where Prince Adam is a Dick.