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Bud Light and UFC deal reveals two possibilities of what’s really happening


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Bud Light is fighting for its survival. The no. Beer 1 is now an afterthought after its disastrous PR moves and conservative backlash. It turns out that people don’t want their brew to taste like left-wing propaganda. And now the brewing company might finally be listening.

In April, Bud Light partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney to promote the beer. The company sent out special cans with Mulvaney’s face to celebrate “365 Days of Childhood.”

The result also created a transition for beer, as drinkers went elsewhere. Bud Light has long held a conservative place in the beer world. The Mulvaney deal sparked huge backlash ranging from choosing a tastier beer to singer Kid Rock’s use of Bud Light cans for shooting practice.

Now the foam maker is betting that tough men and women will help sell the beer that a biological man mined. The company finally realized it was in a deep hop situation. So he acted. These last weeks :

Bud Light launched “an initiative to help Folds of Honor provide $3 million in scholarships to families of first responders.”

The company tried to appease its distributors by offering them $150 million to avoid being kicked off the shelves.

And, although it may only be for business reasons, Captiv8, the marketing company involved in the Mulvaney fiasco, just parted ways with a group of executives.


Then there’s the shrewd deal with the UFC. said UFC CEO Dana White in a press release. “There are many reasons why I chose Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light, the biggest being that I believe we are very aligned when it comes to our core values ​​and what the UFC brand stands for.”

What White means is that they gave the UFC tons of money. This is shared value. Nothing else. I’m pro-capitalism, so I don’t blame him at all. He is making a decision for the financial health of the entire UFC. How many Americans would refuse to drink weak beer for $100 million?


There are now two possibilities: either Bud Light is really trying to move on and win back its old customers, or it’s trying to pretend and make it all go away.

Forgiveness is a virtue

Bud Light is making some good moves here. Helping the families of first responders will always be appreciated in my home. We have had five generations of firefighters. And signing up for the UFC again is smart business, even if it’s just a facade. It’s a proud league and White represents it well.

But the problem with forgiveness is that you first have to admit that you did wrong. And you have to promise not to do it again. That means Bud Light executives need to be honest with their customers about the Mulvaney fiasco and say that MMA fighters and first responders represent the beer’s values, and the stunt doesn’t. by Mulvaney.

Now, it’s possible that Bud Light will throw in the towel and stick to the largely conservative, beer-buying public. This is one of the options I predicted at the beginning of this year. But I doubt it. Not yet anyway.

Harry Schuhmacher said Bud Light would likely see similar year-over-year declines for the “foreseeable future.” (Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket)

It’s just another marketing stunt

This isn’t the first time Bud Light has tried to emerge from the disaster it caused. This is the same management whose former head of marketing derided the brand as “frail.” He tried to downplay the relationship with Mulvaney, as Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth told CBS on June 28: “Just to be clear, it was a gift, and it was possible. ”

Then there was the summer commercial where Bud Light mocked its customers to the 70s tune of Chic’s “Good Times.” The spot showed a large group of Bud Light drinkers having a picnic and doing all kinds of stupid things: a man getting sunburned with a phone on his stomach, leaving a mark; another going through a screen door; a couple unable to close a refrigerator and yet another man falling from a hammock.

The slogan “Easy to Drink” follows and is apparently necessary since the company thinks its customers are too stupid to open a can of beer.

It turns out that customers are smarter than marketers, and they didn’t like it either. So is Bud Light just spending more money to buy out customers? Probably. But none of the UFC’s kicks will solve the main problem – Mulvaney, who has gone from supporter of the brand to critic.

“For a company to hire a trans person and not publicly support them is, in my opinion, worse than not hiring a trans person at all,” Mulvaney said.


Dylan Mulvaney Bud Light

A photo of the commemorative Bud Light box featuring TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney. (Dylan Mulvaney/Instagram)

So now Bud Light runs the risk of angering both woke drinkers and the super-woke media. And this problem won’t go away easily. “Supporting and hiring trans people shouldn’t be political, and those who claim to be are bigots. And we shouldn’t let them win,” Mulvaney said.

It is impossible to appease conservatives and Mulvaney, who think this is intolerance. Not with the same brand. What the company could do is turn Bud Light into the conservative brand it was, create a new woker beer, and involve Mulvaney in that. But I also think it’s probably too late for that. Both parties would notice and respond.

In other words, Bud Light must be offending someone. The latest spending doesn’t mean the company has chosen sides, but it will likely be forced to or waste that money and goodwill it’s trying to restore.




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