When you say Budweiser, you’ve said it all. [Opinion]
Wow! Bud Light and Budweiser have had a really bad run lately. First, after the latest marketing campaign, the company reportedly lost $5 billion in value and Bud Light sales hit the wall.
The damage done to the brand was so bad that their CEO felt he had to toss some gasoline on the stock value by releasing a message that most who read it really weren’t “buying” and frankly the message didn’t say much.
Then the “marketeers” at the King of Beers rolled out a social media spot that was full Americana. The brands iconic Clydesdale is seen trotting across the nation. We even see the flag of our country being hoisted. Budweiser is reminding us that the brand is all about America.
Did the backlash across the nation really awaken the woke? Convenience stores, bars, and stores were pulling the product off the shelves faster than the F-22 fighter can reach the speed of sound. That usually means the beer distributors have to take the product back and give the vendor a credit. That’s one more hit that Bud Light and the brand took.
Is the visceral reaction to the woke ad highlighting a man transitioning to a woman a wake-up call for this legendary beer maker? Is it a wake-up call for all brands?
When the “right” call for a boycott it usually fizzles. Not this time. You had celebrities literally shooting cases of Bud Light and videos going viral. Bud Light is a staple for “Joe & Susie Sixpack.” People from all walks of life have been fans of this brand since its introduction.
You can’t watch a professional football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, or most college sports without a Bud Light commercial on radio, TV, or in print ads. The revolt against this ad campaign has had a chilling impact.
What did the ad campaign prove? First and foremost, that the marketeers really didn’t know who the customer was that they were serving. Next, they had no idea that their effort to “reach new customers” would end up angering the loyal customer they already had.
Following is the original commercial featuring a trans woman:
Earning the trust of a customer is never easy. The beer market is drenched with all types of beer for the diverse taste of the consumers. It is abundantly clear that Bud Light lovers weren’t having their beer cans adorned with this Audrey Hepburn knockoff.
Will this repudiation have any impact on other retailer’s ad campaigns and messaging? Maybe!
Traditionally the job of a CEO of these massive publicly traded companies is defined in the board rooms and with the stock market analysts: It’s all about “shareholder value and ROI.” That’s “Return on Investment.”
Americans may have had it with Bud Light and its failed ad campaign. But have Americans had it with the woke stuff. While not a fan of the “cancel culture,” it looks like Americans have “cancelled” Bud Light!
With a reported 800-plus companies embroiled in a battle to be the most woke corporation in the USA, it’s unlikely that Bud Light’s disastrous campaign will make those CEO’s reconsider.
For now, when it’s time to relax, one beer stands clear —beer after beer —and that beer isn’t Bud Light tonight.
- Bud Light: Shutterstock