Anheuser-Busch has been through it since they announced the partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
The original partnership with Bud Light and Mulvaney began back in March of this year, and consumers of the light beer have revolted against the brand, boycotting the iconic beer brand and causing the company to lose millions of dollars in revenue.
It has gotten so bad that Bud Light has even announced that they will pump a ton of money this summer into revamping marketing and giving away free beer.
The beer company has been retreating ever since the backlash began, even having the Vice President of Marketing responsible for the partnership take a leave of absence.
Competing beer brands have even stepped in with their own advertising subtly calling out the Bud Light fiasco, and their improvement in sales is quickly closing in on taking away the title of the “country’s best selling beer” from Budweiser.
According to sources from the New York Post, Anheuser-Busch held a meeting with distributors at their St. Louis headquarters in order to figure out a way forward and out of the shadows of the Bud Light backlash.
One of the new ideas to bring back the brand in the eyes of consumer is a partnership with Folds of Honor that would give temporary camouflage redesigns to Budweiser and Bud Light aluminum bottles.
The unnamed source told the New York Post:
“It’s an aluminum bottle. I believe it is the only package that will be transitioning, but I am not 100% certain on that.”
Their plan is roll out bottles with camo-print and pictures of the “Folds of Honor” program, which gives children and spouses of those who lost their lives in service an opportunity with educational scholarships. It also aims to help those families that are affected by disability upon the return from military service, as well as first responders.
The initiative is one small part in a rather large grouping of marketing strategies that Anheuser-Busch is utilizing to revive the consumer base for Bud Light.
Other plans include highly discounting beers in stores, investing deeply in multiple sports markets, and trying to tie in the military and country music in advertising.
However, their early attempt to pander to country music fans was met with its own backlash when Bud Light released an ad featuring Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried.”
For Bud Light right now, it seems like they can’t do anything right, and with the quickly dwindling sales, they need to find their footing fast.
When it comes to nationwide retail sales of Bud Light, the New York Post reported (according to data from NielsenIQ and Bump Williams Consulting data) that sales in the week of May 6th versus a year ago at the same time dropped 23.6%, which is a touch worse than the 23.3% decline that was seen in the last week of April compared to last year.
So it looks like Bud Light still hasn’t been able to stop the bleeding – but they’re throwing whatever they can at it to try.