"Wake-Up Call": Anheuser-Bush Exec Says Lessons Learned, Predicts Comeback

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jun 21, 2023 - 06:00 PM

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

An executive with Bud Light maker Anheuser-Busch said the boycott against the brand was a “wake-up call” and claimed the light beer will make a comeback.

Cans of Bud Light chill in a refrigerator in Oakland, Calif., on April 28, 2023. (Jeff Chiu/AP Photo)

Bud Light, in a social media promotional campaign, produced a beer can with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney in early April, drawing immediate backlash. Some country singers and conservative influencers suggested that consumers not purchase the beer, causing sales to drop in every consecutive week following the Mulvaney backlash.

“It’s tough to see the controversial and divisive debates that have been happening in the U.S. in the last couple of weeks involving lots of brands and companies, including and especially Bud Light,” Anheuser-Busch’s global chief marketing officer, Marcel Marcondes, told the Cannes Lions International Festival, according to a report from AdAge. “It’s tough exactly because what we do is all about bringing people together.”

Elaborating, Marcondes said the backlash was a “wake-up call” for marketers like himself to be “very humble” amid controversy and during “times like this.”

“That’s what we’re doing, being very humble, and really reminding ourselves of what we should do best every day, which is to really understand our consumers. Which is to really celebrate and appreciate every consumer that loves our brands—but in a way that can make them be together, not apart,” Marcondes told a crowd at the festival.

But he stressed that Bud Light, which recently saw its sales drop to No. 2 behind Modelo Especial, will ultimately make a comeback.

Bud Light “exists to make beer easy to drink and easy to enjoy. That’s what we all, as a team, will be doing moving forward as a group,” the executive also said. “That’s what leaders do. Bud Light is coming back. It’s going all around the country, reconnecting with consumers, moving forward. That’s what you can expect from Bud Light in the U.S.”

According to the AdAge report, Marcondes made those comments while he was accepting an award for “Creative Marketer of the Year” at the Cannes Film Festival, located in the south of France. On social media, in response to the executive’s remarks, some prominent users called on consumers to continue to the boycott of the brand to send a message to other major corporations.

No. 2

Industry data shows that Bud Light recently lost its top spot to Modelo Especial in the month of May. Modelo is owned by Constellation Brands within the U.S. after the Department of Justice in 2013 ordered Anhesuer-Busch to divest from the brand and hand it over to Constellation.

Beer analyst group Bump Williams said that actual dollar sales were also grim for Bud Light during the four-week period ending in early June, falling about 24.4 percent, while Modelo’s sales grew 12.2 percent in the same time period.

“Modelo Especial appears to be increasing its sales growth each week as we get deeper into summer,” Bump Williams told CNN last Wednesday, adding that other Modelo beers are performing well, too.

Read more here...