In this episode of “No Way Is This Bud Light for You”…
Bud Light’s latest desperate attempt to pretend the most ill-advised marketing decision in the history of marketing decisions — the disastrous Dylan Mulvaney collaboration — didn’t happen is pinned on a new ad campaign aimed squarely at America’s football fans.
But before we get to the new ad, let’s take a short walk down Bud Light Memory Lane and check out where America’s former number-one-selling beer now finds itself.
In early July, Bud Light was hit with Costco’s notorious death star, which suggested the mega-retailer would soon discontinue stocking the product.
As additional retailers began to shift shelf space to other brands, Bud Light continued to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in sales and lay off hundreds of workers.
Even worse, as the Mulvaney-link carnage continued, Anheuser-Busch InBev began to sell off some of its other labels, including eight of its craft beer brands.
With industry analysts predicting Bud Light will permanently lose roughly a quarter of its pre-Mulvaney market share, the battered brand continues to, in effect, pretend the disaster never happened.
On Thursday, Bud Light kicked off its nearly 30-year sponsorship of the National Football League (NFL) with an ad featuring everyday football fans doing everyday football fan things.
The “Easy to Sunday” ad includes predictable stuff:
Game-day tailgate parties, NFL fans celebrating in sports bars, donning team jerseys, and doing other game-day sorts of things. In other words, football fans, Bud Light’s still your beer of choice, right? Hello? Is anyone there?
Todd Allen, Bud Light’s vice president of marketing, said in a recent interview it’s all about “relatability.”
For me, it’s about relatability. … These are real people doing real things that they do every Sunday with their friends and family, and we were able to capture that authenticity.
We are going to show up everywhere that NFL fans are this season. We never hesitated to lean into the momentum that we have with our summer campaign to go all in on football.
Bud Light spent decades and untold billions of dollars building brand loyalty. “These people,” as you called them, related just fine to Bud Light — before you people screwed it up.
And, Todd? You can show up everywhere NFL fans gather this season, but you’re not going to undo the damage foolishly caused by the decision to hook up with a 26-year-old dude who pretends he’s a teenage girl.
I’d hardly call that decision “leaning into the momentum” of anything other than woke gone mad.
Despite Bud Light’s veritable freefall, its commercial sponsors appear more than willing to take its money.
Last week, the Washington Commanders announced a multiyear deal with Anheuser-Busch to name Bud Light its official beer sponsor, more than a year after the two parted ways following controversies at the NFL team.
Bud Light as part of the sponsorship will host live activities on game days, including a summer concert series, and debut new signs including video screens, concourse displays and wall banners throughout FedExField.
Bud Light this year will again produce special beer cans featuring logos of each of its sponsored NFL teams.
Bud Light’s open-arms reception by Commissioner Roger Goodell’s NFL should surprise no one. Goodell eagerly groveled before the Black Lives Matter altar in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, and his league has never looked back.
So, hell — what’s the big deal about a man pretending to be a girl?