Bud Light is planning to launch a new marketing campaign to boost its sales after its partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney had a disastrous impact on the company’s reputation. According to Beer Marketer’s Insights editor Benj Steinman, Anheuser-Busch executives held a closed-door meeting with US beer distributors in Washington, DC, this week to discuss the new campaign. The beer giant’s representatives have promised that there will be an “improved screening process” before any marketing is released in the future.
The Mulvaney campaign involved videos on social media showing her drinking Bud Light in a bubble bath and showcasing a commemorative Bud Light can with her image on it to celebrate her first year as a woman. This campaign led to a 17% drop in sales for Bud Light during the week ended April 15.
Anheuser-Busch executives have been tight-lipped about the controversy since it erupted on April 1. However, in a series of private Zoom meetings with US beer distributors this month, they have promised that there will be no more screwups. The new campaign will begin this week, with a major push for the NFL draft.
Anheuser-Busch has also announced that two marketing executives responsible for Bud Light have been put on leave as the company tries to clean up the mess. The company has given wholesalers a letter with talking points to dispel the confusion and misinformation surrounding the Mulvaney campaign.
Despite these efforts, some distributors have left meetings feeling frustrated that Anheuser-Busch never apologized for the lost business they’ve had to deal with. Bud Light has been losing market share for years, with spending on the brand dropping from $183 million in 2018 to $57 million in 2021, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.
Anheuser-Busch has promised to reverse these drops in spending, but distributors want more concrete plans on how to stop the backlash against Bud Light. The company is hoping the new campaign will remind consumers why they love Bud Light and why it’s the #1 beer in America.