The Most Interesting Man in the World is the charming gentleman spokesperson for Dos Equis beer, and he is looking for five Personal Collectionneurs for a “research trip” in Mexico. But, there’s a problem: as the Most Interesting Man was transporting his amazing collection of treasures, the plane’s engine failed, and he had to “parachute” all his exotic goods, scattering them all around North America. Prove your mettle to the Most Interesting Man in the World by helping him recover his lost artifacts in the Dos Equis Cargo Hunt.

Since the Most Interesting Man in the World first appeared in 2009, he’s gathered a bit of a cult following. As described in this Slate article, the “well-made, amusing ads . . . somehow manage to blend absurd humor with suave sophistication.” The clever one-liners that accompany the retro/vintage footage of “The Man” in action are pithy, entertaining, and yes, maybe a little bit sexy.  (“He can speak French… in Russian.”) Last year, Dos Equis also ran a companion extended experience project, The Most Interesting Academy, which might not have been as well-received as “The Man” himself.

By signing up at the Dos Equis Cargo Hunt site, players become “Cargo Hunters” and can collect virtual treasures in several ways: through the Cargo Hunter’s map on the website, through codes on specially marked Dos Equis packaging, and at special promotional events this summer. So far, there was at least one event in May, there was another Cargo Hunt event on June 30th in San Antonio, with more events near Houston in the future, promoted through a local radio station.

The easiest way to find the Most Interesting Man’s lost artifacts is on the Dos Equis Cargo Hunt website, where contestants can access the interactive Cargo Hunter’s map. The browser-based Flash game is divided into grids, and each Cargo Hunter gets ten moves each day. Arriving on a square may unlock a mini-game, an instant artifact discovery, a few extra moves, or nothing at all. The mini-games are pretty straightforward, and beating the mini-game earns you an artifact. So far, I’ve encountered three different mini-games, but there might be more.

Another interactive feature in the Dos Equis Cargo Hunt site is the ability to trade artifacts with other Cargo Hunters, using the unique “trade codes” that are found with each virtual treasure. But buyer beware: trading is not regulated or monitored by the organizers. During registration, a player may opt to be a trader and will be prompted to choose a preferred contact method (email, Facebook, or Twitter). That contact method is posted on the player’s profile on the Dos Equis Cargo Hunt site. Players can link Facebook profiles to their Dos Equis Cargo Hunt profiles and use a custom-built Facebook app for another level of social interactivity. More information can be found on the Facebook fan page.

The top seventy-five Cargo Hunters will be invited to submit personal statements, and based on those statements and number of artifacts collected, five lucky Personal Collectionneurs will be chosen for a two-day, three-night trip to Mexico. According to the contest rules, the Collectionneurs will “have the opportunity to use the skills he or she displayed in the Cargo Hunt to assist Dos Equis in various important matters, including travelling to various locations to gather and record information about certain exotic sites, and to provide daily reports on his or her activities and discoveries, including on which new artifacts should be added to the Most Interesting Man’s collection.” To help in this “research trip,” each Collectionneur will also receive some travel gear including a Flip video camera. The “research” conducted by the Personal Collectionneurs includes exploring an underground river and night-time zip-lining through the jungle, and the material gathered during the trip will be used in future Dos Equis promotions.

Although the contest started at the beginning of June, it looks like it will be a long run until the five Personal Collectionneurs are chosen. Competition is already fierce; at the time of this writing, there are over 21,300 registered Cargo Hunters. Registration will continue through September 2010, soon after which personal statements will be collected, and the five Personal Collectionneurs will be announced. The expedition to Mexico is planned for December 2010. There are other “Instant Win” prizes, too, but prizes can only be won by US citizens.

Don’t you want “the Man” to send you to Mexico to hunt for treasure? I know I do. After all, “His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body. . . .”  He is the Most Interesting Man in the World.

Click Here to view the trailer for Cargo Hunt at