A Big Week For Bud Light
Two big things happened for the ailing Bud Light brand this week: it's Super Bowl ad dropped early, and Donald Trump suggested publicly that the brand deserved a second chance. Our friend Isaac Simpson, marketing expert extraordinaire, is back with a guest post on what this means for Bud Light, and for America. If you're the type who likes to skim longer posts, be sure to read his last two paragraphs at least--they're bangers.
Following Isaac's post, we'll wrap up with quick trading update, letting you know how we did on the trades we mentioned this week.
Trump, Bud Light, And The Art Of The Deal
Pre-releasing Super Bowl ads is the new trend. Big brands pay $7 million per 30 seconds then promptly ruin the prestige debut so their PMC can CYA on their digital metrics. Bud Light was no exception, emitting this abortion two days ago:
Bud Light released their Super Bowl ad early. It's about as Deep Fried Longhouse as it gets.— Disgraced Propagandist (@DisgracedProp) February 8, 2024
BIG IDEA (Genie-Bro). BIG CELEBRITIES (Peyton Manning, Post Malone). BIG BUDGET (Dana White appearing on behalf of his new $100 million deal with AB Inbev).
Very typical waste of $20+ million by today’s global propaganda machine. And, some speculate, the result of AB Inbev and Wieden Kennedy not being able to get its ducks in a row in time for the big game (AB’s next BIG IDEA campaign will now launch during Olympics). So instead, they stuck us with this stupid Genie, who will now promptly disappear back into the can.
As I’ve written about elsewhere, the global boomer regime still believes in BIG. Big stories, big themes. Goods guys versus bad guys. Davids slaying goliaths. America as protector of rugged individualism, even if that means self-castration.
But the world is changing under their noses. In the era of the TikTok scroll, it’s the little things that count. One such little thing was the Bud Light can itself—just one little piece of aluminum sent to one crazy theater kid. The resulting “boycott” was also a “little things” calculation—these kinds of boring-ass political initiatives never work. The boycott worked cause it wasn’t a boycott at all, it was a funnel-related buy-cott. Put simply, normal dudes faced with three identical light beer options, simply thought “that one’s gay…I’ll try one of the other two.”
Bud Light’s bleeding Brazilian parent AB Inbev responded by launching an Amerikaner apology tour featuring Kid Rock and Dana White appearing quite randomly on Tucker Carlson and asking forgiveness. We know at least one of the three got a massive payday, and you can assume the other did as well; or, in Tucker’s case at least, he probably sees the TCN forest through the AB Inbev money trees. Auron MacIntrye and I argued politely on my podcast over whether this was a win or a loss for our side, him no, me yes.
But that was before Trump weighed in on the side of AB, saying,
The Bud Light ad was a mistake of epic proportions, and for that a very big price was paid, but Anheuser-Busch is not a Woke company. Anheuser-Busch is a Great American Brand that perhaps deserves a Second Chance? What do you think? Perhaps, instead, we should be going after those companies that are looking to DESTROY AMERICA!
The Mainstream Media is framing Trump’s statement as corrupt since it “occurred on the eve of fundraiser with Anheuser Busch lobbyist.” I don’t think that has anything to do with it. I think he said it for a corrupt reason, but the good kind of corruption, the kind the right absolutely needs to learn if it’s ever going to win any real victories.
Here’s what I think is happening. First, Trump both knows the history of AB and has history with AB. Funnily enough, AB more or less created branding as we know it in the United States. The first brand to sponsor a sports stadium, Busch Stadium home of the St. Louis Cardinals. One of the first brands to deftly intermingle populist politics with brand perception—it managed to stay in business through prohibition, for e.g., by claiming to be both the savior of the working man and the only viable “safe” alternative to the devil whiskey. The founding family’s estate was even turned into a public amusement park, Busch Gardens.
It’s worth noting that they did all this while being incredibly based. The first thing Busch family babies were given out of the womb was a thimble of beer. Not only were the early Busches' staunchly capitalist and right wing, they were also anti-consultant and anti-cost-cutting. While competitors like Schlitz and Pabst found gross ways to speed up the brewing process, undermining taste and quality for speed, AB stayed strong and refused to compromise the recipe.
The early Busch’s also would’ve never sold out. But, alas—Robert Conquest’s Laws are laws for a reason. The failsons eventually became too great, and AB allowed itself to be eaten by the globalist “Brazilian” conglomerate InBev in 2008. Now the Busch’s are in a reality show—something that would’ve made their “top out-of-sight” grandparents insane with rage.
Now, we can assume that during his early career Trump spent time with the Busch family. We can even assume that Trump has interacted with Budweiser’s current ex-CIA CEO Brendan Whitworth, despite Whitworth being a chiseled-jawed puppet. We can assume Trump has knowledge of the history of the brand, and a relationship with the people inside it.
Trump is not one to throw friends under the bus solely for political positions—he waits to be personally attacked, and only then does he cut you off. Furthermore we can assume that neither Brendan Whitworth nor AB Inbev CEO Michel Dukeris (not a puppet) don’t actually care about trans rights any more than any powerful man does. They play along because they think they must in order to continue to gain power. Until, of course, it becomes clear that no more power is to be gained.
And this is where you have to believe that Trump sees the potential of a secretly-based Anheuser Busch. Yes, Auron MacIntyre is quite right that we shouldn’t see this a true
scalping or even a true political victory, because AB neither apologized nor gave to a friendly cause, which is what would’ve happened had a brand broken a leftist taboo. AB Inbev is not publicly anti-trans, which is really what we should hope for and expect, just as the left expects, and convinces, brands to be publicly “anti-racist” which is code for “anti-white.”
However, we must remember that Trump thinks in deals. He’s less interested in these sorts of empty apologies or publicity moves. Trump is thinking about the money. And what does the money mean in this context? No, it’s not just political donations. It’s patronage. Trump, like Tucker, sees the $100 million AB was already willing to shill out to the UFC. AB (alone) spends $1-2 billion a year on marketing in the US every year. Now just imagine if instead of all those dollars going to cut-my-dick off influencers, cut-my-dick-off longhouse harridans like Alissa Heinerscheid, and cut-my-dick-off media platforms like CNN, and instead went to based musicians, based sports, based moguls, and based networks like TCN?
Then, my friends, you have the beginnings of not just a right wing political organization, but of a right wing culture factory. And of course we all remember which is downstream from which.
Here's how we did on the trades we've exited so far this week:
Stocks or Exchange Traded Products
Fabrinet was one of the Portfolio Armor web app's top ten names that we held in our core strategy, which is to put trailing stops on them and replace them with new PA top names when we get stopped out. These are the current returns on our top name holdings:
*Fabrinet return is as of when we were stopped out on Tuesday; the other returns are as of Thursday's close.
Call spread on ELF Beauty (ELF 0.00%↑) (buying the $172.50 strike calls and selling the $175 strike calls). Entered at a net debit of $0.90 on 2/5/2024; exited at a net credit of $1.00 on 2/8/24. Profit: 11%.
Call spread on ELF Beauty (ELF 0.00%↑) (buying the $162.50 strike calls and selling the $165 strike calls). Entered at a net debit of $1.10 on 2/5/2024; exited at a net credit of $2.24 on 2/8/2024. Profit: 104%.
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