In its latest advertisement, Bud Light, which features tight end Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs, returns to a male-centric approach.
The throwback advertisement follows on from continuous criticism of the beer company earlier this year after their marketing push featuring transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney.
This comes after Dylan Mulvaney slammed Bud Light, admitting that she became ‘scared to leave the house’ after the backlash from her partnership with the brand.
The twenty-six-year-old is known for her transgender activism, in particular her Days Of Girlhood series in which she shares details of her gender transition with her followers.
Bud Light received backlash after partnering with Mulvaney for their March Madness campaign, where people have a chance to win up to $15,000. The twenty-six-year-old shared a video of her dressed like Audrey Hepburn encouraging fans to enter.
The video was captioned: “Happy March Madness!! Just found out this had to do with sports and not just saying it’s a crazy month! In celebration of this sports thing @budlight is giving you the chance to win $15,000! Share a video with #EasyCarryContest for a chance to win!! Good luck! #budlightpartner.”
Despite this totally innocent and ordinary partnership, both Mulvaney and Bud Light were hit with backlash as a result of the anti-trans sentiment in the current climate.
Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, also faced troubles. The company saw its value drop by $5 billion in the immediate wake of the partnership, as reported by New York Post.
Bud Light broke their silence on the controversy surrounding their partnership with Mulvaney back in April.
The CEO of Anheuser-Busch, Brendan Whitworth, shared this statement: “As the CEO of a company founded in America’s heartland more than 165 years ago, I am responsible for ensuring every consumer feels proud of the beer we brew.
“We’re honoured to be part of the fabric of this country. Anheuser-Busch employs more than 18,000 people and our independent distributors employ an additional 47,000 valued colleagues.
“We have thousands of partners, millions of fans and a proud history supporting our communities, military, first responders, sports fans and hard-working Americans everywhere.
“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
His statement continued: “My time serving this country taught me the importance of accountability and the values upon which America was founded: freedom, hard work and respect for one another.
“As CEO of Anheuser-Busch, I am focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage.
“I care deeply about this country, this company, our brands and our partners.
“I spend much of my time traveling across America, listening to and learning from our customers, distributors and others.
“Moving forward, I will continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation.”
However, now, Mulvaney has addressed how the company’s response made her feel in the wake of such a huge wave of hatred towards her.
The TikToker revealed in a video shared to Instagram that she never heard from Bud Light again after she faced personal attacks for her promotion of the beer.
She shared that for the company to hire a trans person but then abandon them in the wake of backlash “is worse, in my opinion, than not hiring a trans person at all because it gives customers permission to be as transphobic and hateful as they want.”
“What transpired from that video was more bullying and transphobia than I could have ever imagined,” she shared. She added that she held off responding to the controversy for so long because she was “scared of more backlash” and felt “personally guilty for what transpired.”
Mulvaney added that she felt “a loneliness that I wouldn’t wish on anyone” as a result from the backlash. She also revealed that she has faced being ridiculed in public, being followed and felt scared to leave the house as a result of the controversy.
“One thing I will not tolerate people saying about me is that I don’t like beer. Because I love beer and I always have,” Mulvaney said.
Since then Bud Light has tried another marketing approach to win back customers.
The advertisement, titled “Backyard Grunts with Travis Kelce,” shows the football player cracking open a can of Bud Light with his friends.
Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, and its CEO, Brendan Whitworth, told CBS Mornings: “Over the last month we’ve talked to over 100,000 consumers and their feedback is very clear. What is it? The feedback is to reinforce what Bud Light has always meant to them, which is good times, goodwill, and easy enjoyment.”
What do you make of the u-turn?