In April 2023, Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light beer brand partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney to promote its product. Mulvaney, who has over 1.8 million followers on Instagram, posted a video of herself cracking open a Bud Light and talking about how much she enjoys the beer.
The video was met with positive reactions from many of Mulvaney’s followers, but it also drew criticism from some conservative social media users.
Bud Light’s decision to partner with Mulvaney was part of a larger marketing effort to reach consumers in largely liberal urban areas. The brand has been facing declining sales in recent years, and it is hoping to appeal to younger, more diverse consumers. The partnership with Mulvaney was seen as a way to do that.
The Right-Wing Outrage
The criticism of Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney came from a number of conservative social media users. Some of these users accused the brand of promoting “woke” values and of pandering to a “special interest group.” Others threatened to boycott Bud Light.
The right-wing outrage over Bud Light’s marketing effort is a sign of the increasingly polarized political climate in the United States. In recent years, there has been a growing divide between liberals and conservatives on a number of issues, including transgender rights. This divide has been reflected in the corporate world, as brands have been forced to choose sides on controversial issues.
A Lesson in the Newly Unsettled Politics of Corporate America
Bud Light’s marketing effort with a transgender influencer is a lesson in the newly unsettled politics of corporate America. In the past, brands could largely avoid taking sides on controversial issues. However, in today’s polarized political climate, brands are increasingly being forced to choose sides.
This can be a difficult decision for brands, as they risk alienating customers on both sides of the political spectrum. However, it is a decision that brands cannot afford to ignore. In today’s world, brands that do not take a stand on important issues are likely to be seen as out of touch with their customers.
Practical Advice for Brands
For brands that are looking to navigate the newly unsettled politics of corporate America, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is important to understand your target audience. What are their values? What are their concerns? Once you understand your target audience, you can start to develop a marketing strategy that resonates with them.
Second, it is important to be authentic. Don’t try to be something you’re not. If you’re a brand that values inclusivity, then be sure to promote that message in your marketing. But if you’re a brand that values traditional values, then don’t be afraid to stand up for those values.
Finally, it is important to be prepared for backlash. No matter what you do, there will always be someone who is unhappy with your decision. That’s just the nature of the world we live in today. However, if you’re prepared for backlash, it won’t have as much of an impact on your brand.
By following these tips, brands can navigate the newly unsettled politics of corporate America and continue to connect with their customers.