A marketing specialist has strongly criticized Bud Light for their contentious choice of a transgender influencer to feature in their recent marketing campaign. This move caused an uproar so intense that Kid Rock went as far as obtaining multiple lawsuits with an automatic weapon.
Donning a MAGA hat, the pro-Trump musician stated that he aimed to convey a ‘clear and precise’ message after learning that the beer company had enlisted Dylan Mulvaney, a content creator who identifies as transgender, to collaborate with them.
To coincide with the NCAA March Madness tournament, Mulvaney, who is 26 years old, declared the collaboration in a sequence of videos posted on social media over the weekend.
As part of the partnership, Mulvaney was bestowed with a beer can featuring her image to commemorate her one-year anniversary of identifying as a woman. This move greatly agitated the musician.
PR specialists have recently said that the collaboration between Bud Light and its parent company Anheuser-Busch, with Mulvaney, was a misstep.
According to Gareth Boyd, the Director of Marketing and PR at Forte Analytica, although he can comprehend the reasoning behind the decision, he believes it is not the appropriate approach.
In an interview with DailyMail.com, he expressed, “I genuinely fail to comprehend their strategy behind this move as it is not relatable to their primary target audience.”
“Attempting to attract an entirely new audience by distancing oneself from the core audience who have been loyal for so long is not a logical move,” Boyd added.
Boyd further stated, “In most US households, Bud Light is the go-to beer for fathers or other family members, but it has never been regarded as the ‘cool’ beer.”
He added, “Although their Superbowl campaign this year was impressive, their recent move has taken them from being in a favorable position to suddenly burning their bridges.”
“Kid Rock is the epitome of Bud Light’s target audience, and for someone of his stature to publicly shoot cans, it is evident of the reaction from their loyal customer base.”
“The act of people dumping beer down their drains reflects how much Bud Light has missed the mark with this marketing campaign.”
“If we were working with them, this is not something that we would have ever suggested.”
“Although I can understand the reasoning behind wanting to create a buzz, this decision has resulted in a colossal negative reaction,” Boyd added.”
When contacted for a response, Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch did not provide any comment.
After Kid Rock, who is 52 years old, posted the video on social media, numerous individuals left comments, with many saying ‘F*** Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch. Have a great day.’
This action ignited an even more significant negative reaction from fans who had already been criticizing the decision to involve Mulvaney in the brand.
Caitlin Wiggins, the Director of Marketing at Liquified Creative, also stated that they would not have recommended the campaign to Bud Light.
Wiggins stated, “Bud Light will have to address this issue publicly, and regardless of their stance, they will receive a combination of negative and positive reactions.”
She further added, “However, most of the response has been from a demographic that either supports Kid Rock or is a typical Bud Light consumer.”
“Bud Light has evidently made an attempt to attract a different demographic, but their past campaigns have predominantly featured white males engaging in foolish activities, which had previously been effective for their marketing efforts,” Wiggins explained.
“As a professional, I would not have suggested such a drastic change from their typical marketing and demographic.”
“I would not have advised taking this position or launching this campaign, particularly not without smaller efforts leading up to it.”
“Individuals in a more conservative demographic appear to be resolute in boycotting the product, and it may be challenging to regain their loyalty,” she added.
“This is an enormous deviation from their previous strategy, and I don’t believe they can easily recover from this,” Wiggins stated.
Numerous former customers have shared videos of themselves pouring the beer down the sink and toilet, while others have thrown out the product from their fridge into the trash.
However, the company has supported the TikTok personality, who has over 10 million followers and has been criticized for dressing in a childlike manner, and stated that the cans were a personal present to her. Anheuser-Busch further explained that she is just one of several hundred influencers that the corporation collaborates with.
According to a representative’s announcement, the company occasionally designs exclusive limited-edition cans for their supporters and influential individuals, such as Dylan Mulvaney.
The particular can in question was created as a present to honor a significant personal accomplishment and is not available for purchase by the general public.
Partnering with Mulvaney, who shared a promotional video for the beer company’s March Madness competition, where customers had an opportunity to win $15,000, has resulted in a significant amount of negative feedback.
Boyd went on to say, “The company’s primary consumer demographic is middle-aged men aged 50 and over, which is why it’s somewhat unexpected that they decided to take this approach.”
“Bud used to reign as the top beer brand, but they require a strategy to attract a new audience and generate greater interest. This advertising campaign raises a significant question regarding its ability to appeal to the Gen Z demographic and middle-of-the-road liberals.”
“The negative feedback regarding the campaign has gained significant traction in Republican states, indicating the widespread disapproval of the advertisement.
In our opinion, it would have been wiser to avoid this approach altogether since, no matter how you present it, the company’s core demographic would not be receptive to it.
Although it is true that we live in the 21st century, this business has a specific target market, and they’ve certainly cast their net too wide. This has resulted in a backlash that has affected their brand image.”
The marketing director expressed that the company should find a way to manage the negative publicity, as the longer they wait to address it, the more damage it will cause.
Additionally, he expressed concern that the backlash had already gained significant traction, to the point where it is now trending on social media platforms such as TikTok.
What people had to say about it all
Conservatives immediately criticized the campaign, with many stating that the beer company was promoting “gender propaganda.”
A critic of the campaign questioned, “Is anyone else bewildered why Bud Light featured a man posing as a woman on their can?!?!?!? They’ve forgotten who their intended audience is!! If you go woke, you’ll go broke.”
Meanwhile, Richard Grenell, a former acting director of the United States National Intelligence who is openly gay, stated, “I am the first openly gay member of the US Presidential Cabinet, Bud Light!”
Another commenter asked, “Where is my special edition can? Why are you only producing them for Democrats?! Be fair or only sell your beer to Democrats….”
Lis Wheeler also chimed in, saying, “Hey Bud Light, why not send a beer to the woman who gave birth to five children, homeschools, runs a business, gets very little sleep, and doesn’t have the time to put on makeup or heels as often as she’d like?”
Some individuals expressed their disagreement with the campaign by stating, “That’s a REAL woman. Not a man wearing makeup and who has undergone plastic surgery to pretend to be a woman.”
Support for Mulvaney
On the other hand, supporters of the transgender community praised Mulvaney and the beer company for promoting diversity and inclusivity through their collaboration.
One user expressed their appreciation for Bud Light’s new direction by stating, “Okay, I’m sort of loving where Bud Light is headed with this.”
Another commenter added, “I absolutely adore her!! She really understands us!”
A third person commented, “I never realized how much I wanted to see Audrey Hepburn drink Bud Light until now. Who knew it could be so perfect?”
Another fan of the campaign commented on Instagram, “If this isn’t an April Fool’s Day prank, then I’m incredibly thrilled to see your face on anything!”
The vice president of the company’s marketing recently boasted about their commitment to ensuring women are represented in their advertising campaigns.
Alissa Heinerscheid shared with Forbes, “Female representation is a cause that’s very important to me.” She further stated that they are aware that Bud Light has been perceived as a brand that caters to everyone, and as a result, they have not been mindful of where it appears.
The beer company featured Keleigh, the wife of Miles Teller, and the actor himself in their advertising campaign, which they described as a “new era” for Bud Light.
Heinerscheid stated, “When we examined the challenge of bringing in new customers, we began by considering our identity and values.”
“We’ve been somewhat inconsistent in our messaging throughout the years, and it’s essential for us to establish our identity and promote it consistently in the future. We’re thrilled to see what the year 2023 holds.”
It remains uncertain whether Heinerscheid personally made the call to feature Mulvaney in the campaign or whether it was influenced by Marcel Marcondes, the Global Chief Marketing Officer for AB InBev, which is the parent company of Bud Light.
Mulvaney recently announced her collaboration with the women’s fashion brand Kate Spade, which marks her second partnership within a week.
According to social media expert and AMD Consulting Group founder Assil Dayri, Mulvaney earns $75,000 every time she endorses a cosmetic, credit card, or fashion brand. This amount could double when she shares the post on her Instagram account.
Industry insiders estimate that Mulvaney earns as much as $1 million per year through her collaborations. She is represented by the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which is based in Los Angeles.
According to the campus newspaper, the University of Pittsburgh paid $26,250 for Mulvaney’s speaking appearance earlier this month.
In addition to her collaborations, Mulvaney generates revenue through her girlhood-themed merchandise line, which includes pink sweaters priced at $54 per piece.
Some feminists have accused Mulvaney of engaging in “womanface,” suggesting that she is pretending to be a woman without experiencing the misogyny that women face daily.
Mulvaney gained notoriety on TikTok for her “days of girlhood” series, which has amassed 10.8 million followers. In these videos, she discusses topics that she believes are “accessible” to her as a transgender woman.
In her “days of girlhood” series, Mulvaney discusses various topics such as finding love, pursuing a career in performing, starting a family, and becoming a mother.
With her social media influence, Mulvaney has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars and gained support from high-profile individuals in politics, including a letter from Vice President Kamala Harris congratulating her on “365 days of living authentically.” Mulvaney also met President Joe Biden at the White House in October.
However, despite her success, Mulvaney has opened up about her personal struggles. She revealed that her relationships had fallen apart, she had difficulty finding dates, and she had yet to experience her first kiss as a girl.