Here we go again, Bud Light, once the most popular beer in America, is back at the Super Bowl this year with a massive ad campaign.
Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, will run a 60-second and 30-second Super Bowl ad this year. The company is hoping that these ads will help the brand recover after a boycott led to a drop in Bud Light sales in 2023.
According to Bump Williams sales consulting, Bud Light sales were down 28.9 % in 2023 compared to the previous year, but Modelo Especial was the top-selling beer in the first week of 2024.
Anheuser-Busch Chief Commercial Officer Kyle Norrington spoke about the “massive impact” of Super Bowl advertisements.
For these moments, we need to choose brands that can scale up the opportunities that the Super Bowl, the NFL playoffs, and other events provide.
I don’t think there is a way to “scale down” Bud Light. But I know that AB InBev tried everything to stop its sales decline. Former loyal customers who were outraged by the Mulvaney fiasco of April 2023 are now even more hostile to the brand.
Norrington said that the Super Bowl commercial will “dial-up” the humor and introduce a brand new character while staying committed to the marketing theme “Easy to Drink Easy to Enjoy”, which Bud Light tried in 2023 to little avail.
Our brand fans are expecting some funny advertising.
Norrington, I don’t want to pick on you, but your loyal customers expected Bud Light not to jump on the “woke” bandwagon, after years of advertising and millions of dollars spent to build brand loyalty.
According to reports, the company will sponsor two Super Bowl advertisements for $25 million, including 60-second and 30-second ads, as well as a Michelob Ultra ad, to revive still-crashing sales.
Will it work for me? It’s hard to say, but I know that it won’t be for me.
Dylan Mulvaney’s failure to market Bud Light will live on in infamy for years, if not for decades. After spending untold amounts of money and years building up brand loyalty, Bud Light threw away all of that with one bad idea. They abandoned loyal beer drinkers to appeal to only a small percentage of the public.
Anheuser Busch InBev, the parent company of Bud Light, has certainly learned a very valuable but costly lesson. It’s worth asking if other companies who are tempted to make the same mistake have also learned from the Bud Light disaster. What is the answer? I doubt it. DEI is important, you should know.