We first met in 2007. His smooth baritone, classy-yet-rogue beard, and George Hamilton-esque pantone, he just oozed worldly raconteur. And while he didn't always drink beer, when he did it was Dos Equis. That fact inspired other wannabes to help the brand triple its business to become one of the fastest growing beer brands in the U.S.. He enters the Fictional Ad Character Hall of Fame, alongside icons like Tony The Tiger, the Glad guy, The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, and the "Where's The Beef?" lady. In his retirement, he leaves on his own terms, surrounded by many exotic foreign dignitaries, monks, Miss Universes, a brass band, a giant grizzly bear, and more. We all should be so lucky. Onward!
What: A retirement party for The Most Interesting Man In The World.
Who: Dos Equis, Havas Worldwide
Why We Care: For almost a decade he's provided us with a lifestyle to emulate and some pretty funny beer ads, and now in a burst of spaceship fumes, he's gone to Mars. Of course, instead of potatoes he'll surely be turning the martian landscape into his own intergalactic version of Napa.
What: A peek at how Gatorade is planning to become the future of "sports fuel."
Who: Gatorade, TBWA/Chiat/Day
Why We Care: A stylish first official look at some of the products and strategy we got a glimpse of back in January—protein bars, vegetable-based nitrate boosts, protein-enriched yogurt—as well as its new smart-cap bottle tech. All that and you'll still be crawling to the shop for some Frost Glacier Cherry after a big night out.
What: A lovely short film showing how a shelter dog changed one man's life.
Who: The Humane Society Silicon Valley
Why We Care: Oh man. If you have a dog, you'll be hugging it. If you don't, you'll be seriously considering getting down to your local shelter. Either way, this is the kind of emo-advertising that does its job without making you feel dirty for loving it.
What: A striking reminder of just how serious Phelps is about cementing his legacy as the greatest Olympian ever this summer in Rio.
Who: Under Armour, Droga5
Why We Care: All of UA's advertising of late has been top quality and this campaign is no exception. But as great as the spots starring the U.S. women's gymnastics team and Manchester United star Memphis Depay are, the combination of this darkly stylish look at Phelps with the context of his challenge for Rio takes things to yet another level.
What: A PSA that uses crass comedy for a great cause.
Who: Meredith's Miracles Colon Cancer Foundation, FCB Chicago
Why We Care: Look, you know it, we know it, everybody knows it. Farts are funny. From the time you're in diapers, right to your deathbed, a well-timed bit of flatulence will put a smile on your face. Is it a cheap laugh? Perhaps. But tying our mutual tendency to giggle at gas to raising awareness about colon cancer is a simple, but impressive insight.