Say cheers to Park Avenue's 'Beer Man'

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Last updated : August 22, 2014
You've heard him say 'Maaaan hairrr'. Now hear him say hello. Meet Andrew Smith, the 34 year Irish actor who plays human brand mascot for Park Avenue's beer shampoo.

Beauty experts can hand out a long list of benefits that beer has for hair but men prefer to guzzle the drink instead. So, when apparel major Raymond rolled out a beer shampoo for men, there was a lot of convincing needed for the TG… after all, the company had to get them to effectively pour beer on their heads!

The brand recently executed a series of ads created by Publicis Worldwide featuring a tall, macho man, who was tasked with convincing Indian men to try the shampoo and say "Cheers to Man Hair..."

While Indian advertising is replete with female models and actors who hog the limelight as popular brand mascots (for instance, Lakme, Liril or Santoor girl), male brand mascots - barring the graphically created kind, of course - are still numbered. The Raymond Man exists, yes. But that, one may argue, is more of a concept than a face per se.

But more than the brand strategy, what caught our attention about the Park Avenue commercials is the straight-haired, fair skinned model, who we like to call, well, The Beer Man. We've seen him dressed in a golden suit - one clearly is inspired by the colour of beer - as he spells out the benefits of the ingredient in an unusually whacky tone. Now, meet the actor behind the suit - Andrew Smith, model of Irish origin, who stands tall at 6'5".

Smith has been in the glamour business for the last eight years and has been trying to create a foothold in the Indian glamour industry. "It's just starting to get going," he admits to afaqs!, "I'm hoping to get more off the back of these ads. It's certainly a great gateway to getting more work in the comedy genre."

Andrew Smith

A major in the subject of Divinity from The University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Smith visited India on missionary work when he was 18. When he landed in Kolkata then, it was a cultural shock from. Interestingly, he would like to go back there and experience it once more, albeit, on his own terms… and not view it through "religious eyes."

We'll have you know that Smith appreciates and connects well with the lust for life, dancing, family and humour… something Indians possess in abundance.

His knack for storytelling and imitating people was what made him take up a career in acting. A guitarist and a singer, Smith believes it was his love for helping people with their emotional difficulties that was yet another reason to be in this profession.

"I have been given a gift in understanding, listening and empathising with the pain of others and can help make them feel less alone," he explains, adding, "When I watch a movie, I see things that help me understand myself and work out my own problems. I always wanted to be on screen and help those who are watching to understand that their pain and strife is universal, and that the best way to deal with it is to laugh!"

Smith has recently finished an audiobook called 'My Wild Highlander' to which he has lent his voice - in about 25 different styles - in a Scottish accent.

Smith, we learn, also gave a personalised spin to the storyboard of the Park Avenue beer shampoo ad during the audition. How so? Well, he injected some more whacky humour into it, drawing inspiration from Jim Carrey and Will Farrel's individual styles.

Shooting the campaigns was an absolute "laugh riot" he claims. The creative and production teams were on the same page about the delivery style and tone of the script, according to Smith.

"It was a concept we were all wetting our pants with laughter over… we all really just wanted to make a great ad," he says.

True to his Irish roots, Smith prefers Whiskey over beer, any day. He finds acting and entertaining the most "liberalising" experience. In his spare time he loves to work out, play the guitar and sing.

A huge Rugby fan, Smith also loves tennis. He dubs himself a massive comic book geek and loves to watch Marvel and DC movies. A metal music lover, he likes to go old school when it comes to dressing up.

A well-fitted suit with a colour co-ordinated tie and waist coat is all he needs to take on the world.

And a gold overcoat, perhaps?

First Published : August 22, 2014
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