The Bud Light boycott has so far proven reasonably successful in teaching the company that the wakes of wokeness are getting dragged into culture war street fights and then pummeled by those fighting them. The parent company of Bud Light, Anheuser Busch InBev, has lost tens of billions of dollars in stock market value as sales of the beer have fallen precipitously.
But, rather than apologize to customers for the Mulvaney ad that sparked the boycott, Bud Light is trying to pander to its former customers to get them to start buying it again. First came a can redesign for some special editions. Then a commercial with Zach Brown’s “chicken fried” playing the background that those who saw it described as being “pure pandering.” Then another commercial that was also ridiculed by those it was meant to appeal to.
Now Budweiser is trying a bottle change too. It is also meant to win back conservatives. “Introducing the Limited-Edition Camo Bottles—made to celebrate 13 years of partnership with@FoldsofHonor. Raise one to our military veterans,” Budweiser announced in a tweet.
— Budweiser (@budweiserusa) June 20, 2023
Predictably, the bottle design got a few positive reactions but also sparked a surge of vitriolic comments directed at the brand in the comments section. One said, “Nope! Too late! This is easy Anheuser-Busch.All you need to do is say”we were wrong. We forgot who our customers are and we went woke and we insulted women and we insulted our customers with gender Insanity nonsense.We have learned our lesson and we’re going to stay core to who our customers are the people normal people who make this country work and don’t believe in gender nonsense.” Do that and you might have a shot back into our good graces. Without it you might as well forget it.”
But, of course, the brand won’t do that and will instead refuse to apologize to conservatives while trying to pander to them, as one account noted. “But they won’t apologize. Corporate types will apologize to any small vocal minority with any made up grievance but they won’t apologize to their formerly loyal customers. That’s ok lots of beer to choose from, especially local independent brewers,” the commenter said.
Another commenter indicated that veterans aren’t going to be won over by a terrible design, saying, “Husband is a veteran.. he has moved on from Bud… a camo can is not going to bring him back to the brand! 🇺🇸” Similarly, another said, “Had a wonderful cookout last weekend with several vets and active military. Not one person brought any AB product, it was heartwarming and patriotic.”
So, Bud Light and its affiliated brands owned by AB InBev can tinker all they want with can designs while making ads that more and more obviously pander to those the Mulvaney ad infuriated. But, however much they spend on it, it seems most conservatives will remain uninterested until Bud Light apologizes for the Mulvaney ad and refuses to countenance such an ad again.
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