This shocking news story has taken America by storm: Bud Light faces a massive boycott and plummeting sales after a controversial ad campaign featuring controversial TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney. The fallout has spread throughout the entire Anheuser-Busch family, with Budweiser, Busch Light, and Michelob Ultra all feeling the impact. Can the beer giant recover, or will this PR disaster lead to the downfall of a once-beloved brand? Stay tuned as we delve into the details of this rapidly developing situation.
Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, is scrambling to save their brand following a controversial ad campaign with controversial TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Off-site sales for Bud Light fell a staggering 26.1% in just one week, while rival brands Coors Light and Miller Light each experienced a 21% growth during the same period. As Anheuser-Busch struggles to repair their reputation, they’re boosting marketing spending on Bud Light and producing new ads to win back the hearts of their core customers.
The disaster began when Dylan Mulvaney, a controversial social media star, posted an Instagram video about a personalized can of Bud Light that the brewer had sent Mulvaney as a gift. This April 1 post ignited a boycott, causing sales to plummet not only for Anheuser-Busch but also for its independently owned distributors. Employees of these distributors, many of whom drive trucks bearing the Bud Light logo, found themselves confronted by angry individuals on streets, in stores, and in bars.
According to Beer Business Daily, the deterioration of Bud Light’s market share continued through the third week of April, worsening to an unprecedented degree. Beverage expert Bump Williams explained in a Tuesday interview that the decline is primarily due to Bud Light’s core customers – who typically buy their beer in bulk – abandoning the brand. “Larger packages of Bud Light are not being purchased – the 30-pack suitcases, the 20-packs, the 18-packs, the 12-packs – they’re all being impacted,” Williams stated. “It’s going to be very, very hard to reverse the decline.”
The controversy also affected other Anheuser-Busch brands, including Budweiser, Busch Light, and Michelob Ultra, as reported by Bump Williams.
In response to the crisis, two Bud Light marketing executives, Alissa Heinerscheid and Daniel Blake, have been placed on administrative leave. Heinerscheid, who was hired to lead marketing for Bud Light last year amid slumping sales, attempted to tap into the progressive youth demographic but failed to understand the core Bud Light shopper, according to Williams.
After three weeks of social media silence, Mulvaney posted a TikTok video in which he expressed a desire to be reincarnated as someone “non-confrontational and uncontroversial.” Meanwhile, Anheuser-Busch has been trying to regain the trust of those upset by the Mulvaney campaign. The company recently released a “countrified” YouTube ad showing young beer drinkers enjoying a country music festival. However, critics accused the company of pandering in an attempt to regain consumer trust.
The fallout has extended to Mulvaney’s brand deals with Nike, Maybelline, and Kate Spade, which have also triggered backlash.
Allure magazine recently placed Mulvaney on its annual “A-list,” prompting calls for a boycott. Mulvaney has signed advertising deals with Instacart, Nativ, Ulta Beauty, Nike, and others as well.
Anheuser-Busch is set to report quarterly earnings on Thursday, where they will likely face tough questions from analysts and investors about the company’s future outlook.
Anheuser-Busch is in a desperate battle to save their brand after a controversial ad campaign with controversial TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney led to plummeting sales and a massive boycott. As they attempt to win back the hearts of their core customers, the company faces an uphill battle to repair its tarnished reputation. Will this PR disaster spell the end for Bud Light, or can Anheuser-Busch turn things around and regain the trust of the American public? Only time will tell. Stay with Next News as we continue to bring you the latest developments in this ongoing story.
Let’s continue this conversation, in the comments below.