Anheuser-Busch Transitions Into Damage Control Mode - And People Aren't Buying It
After rolling out a Bud Light ad campaign featuring flamboyant transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney - whose ditzy caricature of a woman mocks decades of actual progress by feminists (who have apparently been wokeshamed into silence), Anheuser-Busch's damage control team kicked into action on Friday after the Mulvaney ad sparked a massive backlash.
"We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people," said Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Brendan Whitworth in a carefully crafted, heavily focus-grouped press release which failed to mention Mulvaney, Bud Light, or transgender issues. "We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer."
"I care deeply about this country, this company, our brands and our partners. I spend much of my time traveling across America, listening to and learning from our customers, distributors and others," the statement continued. "Moving forward, I will continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation."
Translation: Let's all forget about this over a beer.
The company then went with a 'hey fellow beer drinkers' ad campaign, tweeting "TGIF" along with a picture of a Bud Light can. It was received about as well as one would imagine... with a massive ratio of people commenting vs. 'liking' it.
The campaign was mocked mercilessly.
This is the beer can we wanted pic.twitter.com/MBKMEsgK7P— Mostly Peaceful Memes (@MostlyPeacefull) April 15, 2023
Waiting for a REAL apology from Bud Light, along with an announcement that they have fired their marketing team.— The Gay Republican (@GayRepublicSwag) April 15, 2023
New sponsor for Pisswater Light pic.twitter.com/YjOrjLTjIT— Big Ray Hernandez (@BigRayHernandez) April 14, 2023
More via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Some analysts and investors said that the damage likely won’t sink Anheuser-Busch, but the damage has been done to the Bud Light brand.
“I simply don’t understand why they hired the person who was doing the marketing,” Oxygen Financial CEO Ted Jenkin told Fox News Thursday. “I mean, if your target customer is Kid Rock, and then all of a sudden you decide to go to RuPaul, that just doesn’t make any sense at all.”
Because Bud Light generally targets “blue-collar workers and younger adults that are 25 to 29 years old,” the campaign should be problematic for the firm. “So, I don’t think that this one campaign is going to colossally destroy the brand,” it said.
“But certainly short term, it puts doubt into their loyal drinkers of Bud Light to say, ‘Do I want to continue to be drinking Bud Light based upon who they’re showing representing Bud Light?’” he asked. “Anytime a company puts on a national spokesperson that has backlash, it certainly can affect your business.”
A research fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research wrote this week that Anheuser-Busch is owned by InBev, a multinational conglomerate worth tens of billions of dollars. One product, he wrote, won’t do a huge amount of damage to the brand or value.
“But that seems like a plausible result. The Venn diagram of people interested in drinking Bud Light and those eager to support the issue at the sharp edge of the wokist culture war is pretty much just two circles vaguely near one another,” Shepard wrote. “While InBev investors won’t suffer too much, distributors of AB products and others who do business with the company surely will.”
Shepard further stipulated in the article that the “bottom-line effects of wokeness are clearer at other American companies that have abandoned fiduciary duty for politics,” referring to large corporations’ having adopted left-wing talking points and narratives around race and sex.