Bud Light’s recent attempt to regain boycotting customers through a new online ad has been met with criticism from conservative perspectives. Twitter critics have accused the beer brand of portraying customers as “bumbling fools” and “buffoon-ish whites.” Unfortunately, this latest marketing move seems more ham-fisted than ever, exacerbating the challenges Bud Light faces. The advertisement, which debuted on Twitter, features individuals encountering comedic mishaps while promoting the slogan “easy to enjoy.” While the ad may be cute, its timing and message are questionable.
Bud Light is currently grappling with the need to apologize to offended customers, particularly their core buyers who were put off by the brand’s recent “inclusive” messaging. There are effective ways to address this issue. In a previous segment, my conservative colleague Bill Whittle suggested a more self-deprecating approach. He proposed an ad depicting a beer marketing executive, surrounded by empty cans of Miller Lite, being shown the door. With a final Miller Lite in one hand and a box of personal belongings in the other, the executive would stumble out of Anheuser-Busch headquarters, accompanied by a silent narrative that acknowledges the brand’s misstep. This approach would have shown humility and sincerity, both of which are important when attempting to regain customers’ trust.
However, Bud Light chose a different route, opting to poke gentle fun at their customers instead. This decision is ill-timed, considering that customers already feel the brand sees them as hapless hicks. By reinforcing this perception, Bud Light risks further alienating its audience. The recent ad might have been well-received in a different context, but it fails to address the current sentiment and concerns of their customers.
Bud Light finds itself in a precarious situation where any move they make, or even maintaining silence, is likely to be interpreted negatively. This unfortunate outcome could have been avoided if they had taken a more self-reflective and customer-centric approach. Today’s ad does little to rectify the situation and won’t make anything “easy to enjoy” for Bud Light’s struggling management. It is crucial for the brand to reassess its strategy and consider the conservative perspectives of its customer base to regain their loyalty and trust.