There’s a number of common nightmares out there, like showing up to school wearing only a pair of worn-out tighty-whities or teeth dramatically falling out when smiling in front of a mirror. A much more likely scenario is getting an awful haircut before an important event or yearbook photo, like the notorious bowl cut sported by Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber and Noah Schnapp in Stranger Things.
Dos Equis brought the worst haircut nightmares to life for some unfortunate college football fans during a recent game between Mississippi State and Texas A&M.
The beer brand found a way to make a bowl cut even worse: Sports personalities—not accredited cosmetologists—administered these bowl cuts.
Wielding the barber’s tools were Jay Cutler, former Chicago Bears quarterback; Katie Nolan, television host on ESPN; and Martellus Bennett, former New England Patriots tight end.
So, why the cruel and unusual punishment? Fans could test their football knowledge against each other in a head-to-head bracket, with the loser of each matchup having to get a bowl cut. The winners moved on to keep fighting for the grand prize: tickets to the College Football Playoff National Championship bowl game (get the stunt now?)
“We created an experience that wasn’t your typical midterm exam. Even if you didn’t ace the quiz and win tickets, you still won,” said Eric Husband, integrated creative director at Fast Horse, the Minneapolis-based creative agency behind the promotion. “After all, how many people can say they got a bowl cut from football star Martellus Bennett?”
The stunt is part of Dos Equis’ “College Football Football College” campaign from Droga5, which created a “university” consisting of 10 free online video lessons that give beer drinkers and football fans (not mutually exclusive) the opportunity to earn a “real” degree in college football watching.
(Real as in, successful completion of the course series lets the participant download a PDF that they can print, frame on their wall and use it to justify why they yell at the TV so much about the nuances of the game.)
In 2015, Dos Equis, which is part of the Heineken International family of beers, signed a multi-year agreement with ESPN as the official—and first beer brand—sponsor of the College Football Playoff.
“As the official beer sponsor of the College Football Playoff, we wanted a way for fans to celebrate with us all season long. Our campaign is built around the premise that the more you know about college football, the more interesting it is to watch,” said Karla Flores, brand director for Dos Equis.
The “curriculum” for College Football Football College was developed in partnership with John U. Bacon, who has authored five books on college football. Professor Bacon’s courses include teachings on misconceptions, trick plays, offensive positions and more. The other faculty of this online institution include Cutler, Nolan and Bennett.
The Dos Equis truck will be making stops at select schools to bring the College Football Football College experience to life with other activations. Find it parked at your local tailgate party:
- Nov. 9: LSU at Alabama in Tuscaloosa
- Nov. 16: TCU at Texas Tech in Lubbock
- Nov. 23: UCLA at USC in Los Angeles
- Dec. 28: College Football Playoff semifinal in Phoenix, Ariz.