Every time The Most Interesting Man in the World advertisements for Dos Equis beer come on TV, we stop talking mid-sentence and listen. We can’t get enough of him. We love that guy.

Everyone loves that guy. Since Dos Equis first introduced the campaign, their U.S. sales have increased 22%, while other imported beer sales fell 4%. The Dos Equis Facebook page has 1.6 million fans. I’m telling you, it’s the Man.

Dos Equis is going after the same market as all the other gargantuan domestic and imported beer brands: young guys. Not me and not the middle-aged guy watching TV with me. So why are we so captivated?

The commercial’s unexpected sophistication and wit gets our attention. Its smooth music and vintage video clips and photos add a hip yet classic feel, distinguishing the campaign from the other frat-boy brands.

And there’s the Man himself. I may not want a relationship with him, but I’d sure like to spend an afternoon on his boat followed by dinner and dancing. Come on ladies, you know that’s true.

What young guy wouldn’t aspire to be like him? He has what they want: a life full of experiences that sets him apart from other men. The Man is a great example of aspirational marketing.

Good stories capture our imagination by making an emotional connection. In the Most Interesting Man in the Word campaign we meet a worldly character with an air of mystery and authority, sort of an Ernest Hemingway meets Sean Connery. We get a peek at his jet-setting life of adventure and are teased with just enough to make us want to know the rest of his story.

As if the fictional Man wasn’t interesting enough, the actor who plays him, Jonathan Goldsmith, has also led an autobiography worthy life: “rescuing a stranded climber on Mt. Whitney, saving a drowning girl in Malibu, sailing the high seas with his friend Fernando Lamas.”

The witty commentary accompanying the Man’s exploits takes Chuck Norris-isms to a more cosmopolitan level:

  • “Running in place will never get you the same results as running from a lion.”
  • “At museums he is allowed to touch the art.”
  • “The police often question him, just because they find him interesting.”
  • My favorite, on manscaping: “I have no idea what this is.”

The Man’s parting line is recitable: “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Stay thirsty, my friends.” Many viewers think, “Hey, I don’t always drink beer either, I should give Dos Equis a try.” Brilliant.

The money question: do the ads compel the viewer to take action? The sales figures say yes, and I also have personal proof. Someone I know, not a young guy (sorry, honey), occasionally strays from his usual brand and brings home a six-pack of Dos Equis.

brand spokesman aspirational marketing