Fourth-quarter earnings results for Molson Coors Beverage Co. reveal that it ramped up marketing dollars to advertise its core brands while competitor Anheuser-Busch InBev NV's Bud Light continued losing market share. This follows Bud Light's disastrous partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney, which nuked the brand ten months ago.
Shares of Molson Coors, maker of Coors Light, a top competitor to Bud Light, jumped 4% in premarket trading but gave up all gains in the cash session. Earlier, the company announced earnings that beat average estimates for earnings and net sales.
Bloomberg noted Wall Street analysts forecasted that the Bud Light boycott would subside and that higher marketing spending by Molson Coors would reduce adjusted earnings per share down by as much as 14%. However, this didn't happen, as the metric was only down by 8%.
In the earnings release, top executives at Molson Coors said its brands are "well positioned to benefit from the significant shifts in consumer purchasing habits, largely in the US premium segment in 2023." The execs didn't directly call out Bud Light.
The execs continued: "Meeting the strong demand, the Company grew annual US brand volumes for both Coors Light and Miller Lite close to double digits and Coors Banquet performed even stronger. Through its proactive commercial efforts and powerful distributor network, the Company believes that these actions support its continued momentum and underscore the belief that the shifts in the industry have become structural."
To gain market share, Molson Coors increased marketing and administrative spending by 19% in the fourth quarter compared with the same period one year ago. This significant increase was a strategic decision by the management to leverage the declining demand for Bud Light nationwide, which followed Mulvaney's TikTok Bud Light ad in April.
Separately, data from Bump Williams Consulting shows Bud Light sales plunged 20% in 2023. For the first four weeks of 2024, sales tumbled 29.4% as the hemorrhaging continued.
Notable marketing ploys to save the faltering brand include a Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce commercial, Bud Light becoming the official beer of UFC, Bud Light partnering with comedian Shane Gillis, and Trump endorsing the beer.
Is it time to end the Bud Light boycott?
Is it time to end the boycott of Bud Light? pic.twitter.com/OwxGvROOKv— 🇺🇸King David🇺🇸 🇮🇱 (@dac62864) February 9, 2024
The X user above says, "No."