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Budweiser ups horsepower in bid to outrun outrage

April 23, 2023

We weren't going to mention Bud Light's recent mis/adventure, but it's sparked noteworthy follow-up, including this near-parodic 'Shared Spirit' campaign:

For those not abreast, things kicked off when Bud Light delivered a campaign featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, 26, which went down like a lead balloon - as did sales.

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Critics say Belgian-owned Budweiser then stepped in its own mess by avoiding the issue, alienating core customers, offending both men and women, and attempting to cover its tracks with this sickly, simplistic effort. 

"Too little too late. Your VP of marketing for Bud Light insulted your core customer base and said she was permanently trying to change the image of the brand. That's your choice just like it is our choice to switch to a different brand".
"Quick, pull together stock footage and a message for the simple folk".
"Groomer beer. If you see someone drinking it, you just know".
"I thought it was all hype, but I was in a gas station last night and all the Budweiser and bud light were fully stocked while other beer brand shelves were empty or almost empty. It's real and I'm glad".

(Sample LinkedIn comments)

Amid the wads of spoofs, satires, news reports, and sarky comments, we spotted this re-worked ad for 'Ladies Night Out', and a campaign from a self-styled 'conservative dad' with a baseball bat and a straight presentational skill.

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"Stay the **** away from our kids", the clean-cut, smiling young father warns global corporations.

The mood was febrile to start with: the transgender debate heated up as increasing numbers of transgender females take trophies in sports competitions created for biological females and known as women's events.

Politicians and others worldwide appeared to struggle with defining what a woman is - see Matt Walsh's 'What Is A Woman?' film (trailer only, YouTube has removed the full film) - while some are questioning the role of Big Pharma in promoting transgenderism and "gender-affirming care" to impressionable children.

Worth more than US$623 million in 2022, the industry of sex reassignment surgery is expected to top US$1.95 billion in 2026

(Global Market Insights)

We've highlighted the dangers of brands taking a stance before; Thomas Kolster tells how to avoid 'The Hero Trap'; and Alpha Collective Founder Joseph Jaffe has this to say on the Bud Light scenario.

Meanwhile, consumer-generated advertising is showing up more and more in the mix - and it's not afraid of humour....

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"If you know which bathroom to use, you know which beer you should be drinking"

Does this ad capture the Zeitgeist, take things in an unhelpful direction, or bring us all back down to earth?


Posted by Tree Elven on 23/04/2023

Keywords: Bud Light Dylan Mulvaney, Budweiser Share Spirit, Bud Light transgender controversy, Bud Light controversy ad campaign, M Seth Weathers, UltraRightBeer

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