By Steve Moran

I confess I have never been a huge fan of standing in line to have my picture taken with someone famous, except there I am . . . and you will find a few others as well . . . so maybe I’m a bigger fan than I thought. At the Residential Assisted Living national conference in Phoenix last week they brought in James Goldsmith, who for 10 years played the role of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” in a series of Dos Equis TV commercials. Here is a compilation of nearly 10 minutes of them, but just watch one or two:

What I love about this commercial is that it makes growing older look super cool. In fact . . . check out this quote from his Wikipedia page:

“Goldsmith said in an interview that he realized how successful the campaign had been when a man came up to him in a restaurant, telling Goldsmith that the man had asked his young son what he wanted to be when he grew up, and the son replied: ‘I want to be The Most Interesting Man in the World.'”

Dos Equis, of course, was not trying to fight ageism, just sell beer and it turns out they were very successful. According to one estimate, the sales of Dos Equis increased by 22% at a time when sales of other imported beer fell 4% in the U.S.

The Irony . . . You Have to Love This

In 2016 in an effort to better appeal to millennials, though there was no real evidence the James Goldsmith caricature was ineffective, they fired Goldsmith and brought in 41-year-old Augustin Legrand and, in a bit of ageism irony, the new commercials were a flop and, after two years, gone.

From Target Marketing, May 2017: 

“A trip to YouTube shows a mere 323 views of this newest commercial, posted over 2 weeks ago. Another spot, posted 6 months ago, got 95,000 views. In comparison, one of the historical spots with my man Jonathan racked up 3.5 million views.”

It Can Be Done

It is a horrible myth that young people are more interesting. They haven’t lived enough, had enough experience or thought about things enough to be as interesting as older people. Somehow we as an industry, we as a society are completely missing out. 

Maybe this is THE BIG opportunity of senior living, to highlight the most interesting people in the world who live in our communities.  

I would start by nominating our own Senior Living Foresight Writer Jack Cumming.