If you were making a short list of companies that would benefit from more inclusivity and diversity, Bud Light would have to be near the top of that list.
The repercussions for Bud Light persist as a video of the company's Vice President of Marketing discussing her plans to revamp the brand's outdated and exclusive image with a more inclusive approach has been circulating on social media.
On March 23, during an interview with the "Make Yourself At Home" podcast, marketing executive Alissa Heinerscheid shared her plans for revitalizing the image of Bud Light. Little did she know that shortly after, customers would learn about the brand's partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney, sparking boycotts.
Meet Alissa Heinerscheid, Bud Light’s VP of Marketing. She explains her strategy of using “inclusive” marketing to promote the brand to young people.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) April 9, 2023
To commemorate the anniversary of Mulvaney's "365 Days of Girlhood," the beer company created a personalized can with Mulvaney's face and sent it to the influencer as part of the celebration. Mulvaney, who is popular on TikTok, also shared multiple advertisements on Instagram featuring the hashtag "#budlightpartner."
“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,'” Heinerscheid said during the interview.
Heinerscheid expressed her clear mandate to "evolve and elevate" the well-established Bud Light brand by incorporating inclusivity. She elaborated that this would involve a shift in tone, the creation of an inclusive campaign, and an overall lighter, brighter, and different approach that would appeal to both men and women.
“Representation is sort of at the heart of evolution, you have got to see people who reflect you in the work,” she continued. “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.”
The advertisements featuring Mulvaney triggered a strong response from fans, with several notable figures calling for boycotts. Kid Rock posted a video of himself shooting cases of Bud Light, while country music star and bar owner John Rich tweeted, "What beer should my Nashville bar, Redneck Riviera, replace #BudLight with?"
Since the backlash started on April 1, Bud Light has chosen to remain quiet on social media. The only response from the company thus far has been a statement provided to Fox News Digital on April 3.
“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 to the outlet.
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