It's likely you've seen at least one Dos Equis' beer commercial featuring The Most Interesting Man In The World. In what has evolved into a long running and uproariously entertaining meme among Redditors, the television and radio campaign presents an archetypal playboy offering life advice while surrounded by a tableful of gorgeous women. As successful as the commercials have been for Dos Equis -- providing a 15.4% increase in U.S. sales over their 4 year run -- for Reddit, they've become one of the threads which binds a community together.
The campaign, created by agency EuroRSCG, has been parodied hundreds of thousands of times by Redditors. Images, comments, and at least one hand drawn illustration portray actor Jonathan Goldsmith's character offering humorous, and sometimes offensive commentary on nearly everything.
Many of Reddit's Most Interesting Man submissions are hilarious, as are most long running memes. What's striking and significant about Most Interesting Man isn't just about staying power -- it's about specificity. For non-redditors many of the Most Interesting Man images would fall squarely in the category of inside baseball -- so tailored and requiring so much background knowledge, they're easily lost on casual readers.
Shared jokes are a natural expression of common experience. They help to instill a community identity. In the end, being a bit too insidery is part of what turns "I don't always [...] but, when I do [...]" from a simple joke, into a Reddit institution.