Adult beverage brand Bud Light is planning a new marketing strategy following a nearly month-long boycott after the company sponsored TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney, who identifies as a transgender woman.
During a closed-door meeting in Washington D.C., Anheuser-Busch told beer distributors the company will “spend heavily on the brand after spending fell off a cliff last year,” said editor of Beer Marketer’s Insights Benj Steinman per the New York Post.
Anheuser-Busch has reportedly promised to “spend lotsa dough on Bud Light” throughout the spring and summer after sales dropped 17% during the week of April 15.
The company’s adjusted marketing efforts will begin in time for this week’s NFL draft, according to a report to clients by Steinman.
“There will be an improved screening process before any marketing hits the public,” a Northeast-based distributor who cited briefings from Bud execs during Zoom meetings this month told the outlet. “Executives will have to go through a more rigorous screening process.”
Bud Light to spend ‘heavily’ on marketing blitz after Dylan Mulvaney disaster https://t.co/AzGK2hGLpu pic.twitter.com/AVkXxKtSVd
— New York Post (@nypost) April 27, 2023
“This was one single can given to one social media influencer,” Anheuser-Busch said in a Tuesday letter to wholesalers seeking to dispel the “confusion” and “misinformation” that surrounds the Mulvaney controversy, according to Beer Business Daily per the New York Post. “This can was not made for production or sale to the general public,” nor was it “a formal campaign or advertisement.”
“Our new Vice President of Bud Light [Todd Allen] and all of us at Anheuser-Busch are committed to reminding all of our consumers why they love Bud Light and why they’ve made it the #1 beer in America,” the letter continued, further noting Bud Lights’ official campaign is, “easy to drink, easy to enjoy.”
“I’m hoping that the message, no matter how they convey it, gets to the retailer and the consumer, because we are starting to feel the impact,” said a Northeast-based distributor, who asked not to be identified.
Earlier in the month, Mulvaney announced Bud Light had sponsored the TikTok influencer.
“I kept hearing about this thing called ‘March Madness,’ and I thought we were all just having a hectic month,” Mulvaney says while opening a can of Bud Light in one of the sponsored videos. “But it turns out it has something to do with sports. And I’m not sure exactly which sport, but either way it’s a cause to celebrate.”
Mulvaney takes a sip of the beverage before noting the TikTok influencer had recently celebrated day 365 of womanhood.
“Bud Light sent me possibly the best gift ever. A can with my face on it,” Mulvaney says as an image of the product appears onscreen with a caption reading “CHEERS TO 365 DAYS OF BEING A GIRL.”
A second video features Mulvaney in a bubble bath with over a dozen Bud Light cans in the background. The TikTok influencer reaches for a can from behind and opens it before dancing while sitting in the tub.
Mulvaney continues dancing for about 30 seconds before finally sipping the beverage.