Dos Equis: Most Interesting Masquerade

Dos Equis, with its Most Interesting Man in the World, has long been a familiar brand among American beer drinkers. However, although they knew the man, many consumers had never actually tried the beer, which they associated with Cinco de Mayo and the warm summer months. In 2014, Dos Equis Masquerade changed all that with a tantalizing twist on the Halloween season that married the worldly, debonair Most Interesting Man with a new drinking occasion and extended the selling timeframe into the fall. The national campaign leveraged sponsorships and flash sampling and culminated in a theatrical, immersive, interactive experience for 2,200 guests that took place on Nov. 22 at New Orleans’ Generations Hall.

Dos Equis’ core consumers--male Millennials ages 21 to 34—are vibrant explorers who consider themselves trendsetters. They seek acknowledgement for their originality and new adventures. Their active social lives thrive on collecting stories and experiences as part of their social currency. The Dos Equis New Orleans Masquerade, and the events leading up to it, appealed to their sense of curiosity. The campaign offered a taste of the Most Interesting Man’s world and a whole lot to brag about—all behind the thrill of fantasy and wearing a mask.

Based on the theme “The Dance of Two Worlds,” the New Orleans experience presented a dramatic spin on the traditional masquerade ball. A masked Sentry cloaked in a long feather headdress and robe signifying both worlds had guests choose the “Realm of Life” or the “Realm of Shadow.” Guests then donned either a vibrantly colored mask of life or the shadowed mask of life beyond. Those who chose life entered a garden of vines, culinary treats, the Goddess of Life’s throne and a forest sprite who played tricks on them. A Riddler’s Den offered games of chance; a backroom, illicit moments visible to the entire den. The Goddess of Shadow, on the other hand, reigned mysterious and aloof over white shadows, strange creatures and nocturnal birds of prey. Guests dined blindfolded on a mysterious menu and optical illusions twisted their perceptions. An Oculus Rift experience transported them to another dimension until The Sentry united both realms and revealed the headlining guest Q-Tip, whose performance closed the night.

Lighting and décor set the mood along with more than 60 performing artists and roaming characters, including gypsies, a snake handler, magician, a Salvador-Dali inspired character, and a blindfolded butler, 40 interactive consumer engagements and an appearance by the Most Interesting Man himself. Bars in each realm and in the ballroom, where both worlds met to dance, served Dos Equis beer cocktails and lager.

Four festival sponsorship activations-- Monster Bash, HARD Day of the Dead, ALONE and Life is beautiful—supported the campaign. Flash sampling at more than 150 on-premise accounts in Texas and Louisiana generated massive social media buzz around Masquerade. The campaign reached 191,000 consumers, generated 120,000 beers in hand, created 320 million media impressions and a 19 percent increase in national sales.