Anheuser-Busch distributors in parts of the Heartland and the South are “spooked” over the backlash to Bud Light’s marketing campaign with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.
Beer Business Daily, a beer industry trade publication, did some research into the campaign and the backlash that followed. The publication discovered that Mulvaney brought in one billion TikTok views from a hard-to-reach fanbase, Gen Z members.
They claim beer companies are “desperate” to reach these young consumers which would explain the huge gamble the brand took. It remains to be seen if those eyeballs will turn into buyers, the publication claims, but in the short term the beer brand took a hit.
“We reached out to a handful of A-B distributors who were spooked, most particularly in the Heartland and the South, and even then in their more rural areas.
“It appears likely Bud Light took a volume hit in some markets over the holiday weekend.
“Whether it lasts or whether the publicity sparks incremental off-setting demand from over the ideological divide in metro areas, remains to be seen,” they said.
“Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics. From time to time we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney. This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public,” an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said after the backlash.’
The brand has been eerily silent on social media.
Bud Light vice president Alissa Heinerscheid said on a recent podcast about how she wanted to shake things up with the brand:
“I’m a businesswoman, I had a really clear job to do when I took over Bud Light, and it was ‘This brand is in decline, it’s been in a decline for a really long time, and if we do not attract young drinkers to come and drink this brand there will be no future for Bud Light.
“To evolve and elevate this incredibly iconic brand” we need “inclusivity, it means shifting the tone, it means having a campaign that’s truly inclusive, and feels lighter and brighter and different, and appeals to women and to men.
“Representation is sort of at the heart of evolution, you have got to see people who reflect you in the work.”
“We had this hangover, I mean Bud Light had been kind of a brand of fratty, kind of out of touch humor, and it was really important that we had another approach,” she said.
Bud Light went woke & recently hired marketing lead, Alissa Heinerscheid, a woke Ivy League grad, as the first woman to lead marketing for a major beer brand
She’s officially the first woman to destroy the largest beer brand in the industry
— Ynot Llewoh (@ynotllewoh) April 8, 2023
Vice President of Bud Light, Alissa Heinerscheid, explains why “inclusivity” is important when it comes to marketing, says she uses this strategy to “attract young drinkers”
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) April 10, 2023