April 26, 2023 | 7:53 p.m.
Bud Light ‘massively’ missed the mark when the beer brand teamed up with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, an LGBTQ leader has admitted sales of the beer plummeted following the backlash of the controversial collaboration .
Stacy Lentz, CEO of the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative, said Anheuser-Busch badly botched the marketing gimmick with the TikTok star in a failed attempt to attract aspiring drinkers.
“They were going after the younger generation,” said Stacy Lentz, CEO of nonprofit LGBTQ initiative Stonewall Inn Gives Back.
“But it’s a very difficult thing to do marketing-wise, to be everything to everyone.
“And it failed massively.”
Even a former executive said the company “lost track of the consumer” as sales of the low-calorie beer fell 17% in the week ending April 15 from a year ago.
“When you have these big companies that have a historic brand identity, it just seems inauthentic when they suddenly get involved in these social campaigns,” said Anson Frericks, who led the brewer’s US operations until the end. last year. New York Times.
Benj Steinman, editor of Beer Marketer’s Insight, said the brewing company “has entered a polarized America”.
“They are at the center of the culture wars in a way that no company could wish to be,” Steinman said.
Mulvaney posted a video of herself holding a can of Bud Light with her face on it after Anheuser-Busch sent it to her as part of a March Madness promotion.
The reaction was swift, including calls for a boycott and a video of musician Kid Rock shooting beer cans with an assault rifle.
Bud Light vice president of marketing Alissa Heinerscheid and her boss Daniel Blake have since gone on leave, with sources telling the Wall Street Journal that the temporary departures are not voluntary.
A day before the Mulvaney partnership, Heinerscheid revealed his plans to steer Bud Light’s image away from “fratty” and “out of touch” humor.
Anheuser-Busch stock briefly dipped at the height of the crisis earlier this month, but has since rallied.