"We've Never Seen Such A Dramatic Shift": Bud Light Hopes New Ad Blitz Can Overcome Corporate Suicide
Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch is desperately scrambling to rehabilitate their image following corporate suicide over a transgender ad campaign featuring TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
In order to make amends with distributors after off-site sales fell 26.1% in the week ending April 22 vs. one year ago, the company has pledged to boost marketing spending on Bud Light and accelerate production of a new slate of ads, according to the Wall Street Journal, which adds that Anheuser-Busch will give a 'case of Bud Light to every employee' of a wholesaler.
Bud Light sales down 26.1% vs last year in the week ending April 22nd. 📉— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) May 1, 2023
Sales of the beer plummeted vs last year due to the ongoing backlash from the brands decision to hire Dylan Mulvaney as a brand ambassador.
Rival beer brands Coors Light sales rose by 13.3% while Miller… pic.twitter.com/6835StMEXH
Meanwhile, sales of rival brands Coors Light and Miller Light each grew 21% during the same period ending April 22.
The efforts are continuing a month after Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender social-media star, spoke in an Instagram video about a personalized can of Bud Light that the brewer had sent her as a gift. The April 1 post sparked a boycott that caused sales to plummet for both Anheuser-Busch and its independently owned distributors. The distributors’ employees, many of whom drive trucks bearing the Bud Light logo, were confronted by angry people on streets, in stores and in bars. -WSJ
The deterioration of Bud Light's market share "continued apace through the third week of April — and actually somehow worsened. We’ve never seen such a dramatic shift in national share in such a short period of time," according to Beer Business Daily.
The fallout has spread to other Anheuser-Busch brands as well, including Budweiser, Busch Light, and Michelob Ultra, according to Bump Williams.
"It sent shock waves through distributors," according to Jeff Wheeler, vice president of marketing for Del Papa Distributing near Houston, Texas, adding that his staff has fielded "tons of phone calls from people being very hateful."
Two Bud Light marketing executives have been placed on administrative leave in the wake of the controversy.
Marketing Vice President Alissa Heinerscheid took a leave of absence after the Daily Caller reported on photos of her at a college party following comments she made slamming Bud Light’s customer for being “fratty.” Budweiser reportedly announced Sunday that Daniel Blake, group vice president for marketing at Anheuser-Busch, was also taking a leave of absence. -Daily Caller
After three weeks of social media silence, Mulvaney posted a TikTok video mansplaining that he wishes he could be reincarnated as someone "non-confrontational and uncontroversial."
"I don’t know if reincarnation is a thing, but in my next life I would love to be someone non-confrontational and uncontroversial — God that sounds nice!" he said, adding "The good news is that the people pleaser in me has nearly died, because there’s clearly no way of winning over everyone."
Mulvaney has also inked advertising deals with Instacart, Nativ, Ulta Beauty, Nike, and others.
Anheuser-Busch will report quarterly earnings on Thursday. We're sure they'll receive some interesting analyst questions... and of course a big question on everyone's mind; will they cut outlook?