Bud Light is in big trouble.
The company went “woke” and now is staring directly at possibly going broke.
And Bud Light resorted to one move to smooth over its “woke” catastrophe.
Bud Light has executed a controlled demolition of its beer brand.
The company chose to enter into a sponsorship deal with radical transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
In an April Fool’s Day video, Mulvaney said, “Happy March Madness!! Just found out this had to do with sports and not just saying it’s a crazy month! In celebration of this sports thing [Bud Light] is giving you the chance to win $15,000! Share a video with #EasyCarryContest for a chance to win!! Good luck!”
One month later, Bud Light has seen its sales drop by an eye-popping 26%.
After the initial video, people were unsure if the video was genuine or simply an April Fool’s joke, but a spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch confirmed it was real.
Since then, the company has been in total damage control mode.
And Anheuser-Busch top exec Michel Doukeris said on an earnings call, “We need to clarify the facts that this was one can, one influencer, one post and not a campaign.”
Doukeris said the company needed to combat the “misinformation” that Bud Light had an ongoing deal with Mulvaney.
Doukeris simply tried to pawn off the “woke” failure on two marketing executives behind the campaign – both of whom have reportedly been put on leave.
He continued, “We believe we have the experience, the resources and the partners to manage this. And our four-year growth outlook is unchanged…We want to reiterate our support for our wholesaler partners and everyone who brings our great beers to the market. I can tell you that we have the agility, resources and people to support the U.S. team and move forward…We will continue to learn, meet the moment in time, all be stronger and we work tirelessly to do what we do best: Bring people together over a beer and creating a future of more cheers.”
However, the short-term prospects are not good for the company.
Some bars have stopped carrying the brand either by choice or because there simply is no demand for it.
The Bud Light boycott is actually working:
The company is tripling their marketing spending to save the brand this summer.
The company is literally giving away beer for free to sellers.
Bud Light sales dropped 17% by mid-April.
CEO Michel Doukeris has officially disavowed the… pic.twitter.com/LLayxdV1eX
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) May 4, 2023
While Bud Light has received considerable pressure from its core consumers, left-wing activists are also applying pressure.
The Human Rights Campaign, the biggest pro-LGBTQ+ activist organization in the country, called on Bud Light to stand by Mulvaney.
Jay Brown, Senior Vice President at HRC, said in a statement, “In this moment, it is absolutely critical for Anheuser-Busch to stand in solidarity with Dylan and the trans community…However, when faced with anti-LGBTQ+ and transphobic criticism, Anheuser-Busch’s actions demonstrate a profound lack of fortitude in upholding its values of diversity, equity, and inclusion to employees, customers, shareholders and the LGBTQ+ community…This not only lends credence to hate-filled rhetoric, it exposes Anheuser-Busch to long-term business impacts with employees and customers increasingly looking for steadfast commitment to LGBTQ+ corporate citizenships.”
Bud Light is going to have to choose between the people who buy their beer and the culture activists who have destroyed their profits.