Bud Light Pulls a Bill Buckner
As Iâ€™m sure you know, Bud Light developed a partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender social media influencer who seems to enjoy dressing up like a woman headed out for a dance at the Ritz. Hair, makeup jewelry and all. It was all a play to endear the brand to a segment of Mulvaneyâ€™s transgender audience. To press their point, Bud Light also trumpeted a can decorated with a picture of Mulvaney in full designer regalia.
The market reaction was swift. Sales of Bud Light have fallen at least 20% each week since the debut. But as Han Solo famously said, â€œItâ€™s worseâ€. Overall Budweiser sales have declined by 11% and Mich Ultra is also down. Worse yet, the brands competitors sales are up. Great Zot.
As if thatâ€™s not enough, Senator Cruz of Texas has called for an investigation of the AB/Mulvaney partnership on the grounds that Mulvaneyâ€™s audience targets a buyer too young to purchase the product. Such a strategy may fairly be called grooming. Holy Moley.
How did this happen? I believe that the marketing light weights at Bud Light did not know its audience, but at the very least should have pre-tested the idea with the core buyer. Or maybe they knew but were seduced by the social mission and werenâ€™t bothered by the implications of this affiliation. An â€œIâ€™ll teach the market a thing or two about what I believe, and they should be believing it tooâ€ kind of a lesson. Either arrogant or stupid. Probably both.
Many brands have tribal identities and the buyer may believe â€œIâ€™m a Bud Light kinda guyâ€.
It appears the market has voted their brand loyalties and didnâ€™t wish to affiliate with Dylan Mulvaney or even be seen having a quaff and having others believe you are like him. Such is the power of brand affiliations.
Sometimes so-called marketing machines like AB donâ€™t pay attention to one of the most sacred of commandmentsâ€¦.Know Thy Audience or risk making Miller Light or Pabst Blue Ribbon drinkers out of your core buyers.