Bud Light’s Inclusivity Approach: An Alienation of Its Core Audience
Alissa Heinerscheid, the Vice President of Marketing for Bud Light, recently spoke on the “Make Yourself At Home” podcast, where she shared the brand’s efforts in revitalizing its image to attract younger drinkers. While inclusivity is a critical aspect of brand evolution, Bud Light may have overlooked its core audience of adults while trying to appeal to politically active younger demographics. The brand’s recent campaigns and partnerships have raised concerns about its direction, leading to backlash and calls for boycotts.
Outdated Humor: The Need for Change
Bud Light’s past branding featured “fratty, kind of out-of-touch humor,” according to Heinerscheid. However, the brand’s recent efforts to appeal to a younger and more left-wing demographic have raised concerns about the company’s focus. Instead of focusing solely on inclusivity, Bud Light should direct its advertising toward adult consumers and avoid promoting alcohol to younger demographics.
Backlash Over Partnership with Transgender Activist Dylan Mulvaney
Bud Light and parent company Anheuser-Busch faced backlash after partnering with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney. The beer maker celebrated Mulvaney’s “365 Days of Girlhood” by sending his custom-made cans featuring his face, which Mulvaney later posted on Instagram. The partnership ignited a firestorm of criticism, with many calling for a boycott of Bud Light.
Anheuser-Busch made the decision to defend the partnership, claiming that it works with hundreds of influencers across its brands to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics. The commemorative can featuring Mulvaney’s face was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and was not for sale to the general public.
Silence on Social Media
Since the controversy, Bud Light’s social media accounts have been silent, with no posts to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. The brand has not posted to its followers since the Mulvaney partnership was announced. This silence may indicate that the brand is struggling to navigate the backlash and criticism it has received.
While inclusivity is an essential aspect of brand evolution, Bud Light’s recent efforts may have alienated its core audience while trying to appeal to a younger and politically active demographic. The brand must focus on directing its advertising toward adult consumers and avoiding promoting alcohol to younger demographics. Bud Light must also consider the potential backlash and criticism that may arise from its partnerships and campaigns, as seen in the case of Dylan Mulvaney.