The still-unfolding catastrophe of Bud Light’s disastrous hookup with transgender TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney has cratered sales of the once-popular low-calorie beer and has done what could be lasting damage to the brand that has left the marketing genius behind some of Budweiser’s most iconic television commercials shaking his head at the “self-inflicted” wound that has effectively wiped out decades of hard work.
With the alarming news that the fallout from the Mulvaney fiasco may now be spreading to other Anheuser-Busch brands, the company’s former chief creative officer who captivated consumers with the classic “Whassup?!” and “Budweiser frogs” ad campaigns lamented current management’s misguided and ultimately disastrous idea to go full “woke” with Mulvaney and what many beer drinkers perceived to be the promotion of the transgender lifestyle which is fully embraced by Corporate America but viewed with disapproval, if not outright revulsion, by millions of Americans.
(Video: The Daily Mail)
In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Robert Lachky said “It took us 20 years to take Bud Light beer to the No. 1 beer in the country, and it took them one week to dismantle it,” a brutal assessment of the company’s current situation with one of its best selling products now rendered toxic by an ill-advised decision by an ousted Harvard-educated female marketing exec who mistakenly believed that partnering with Mulvaney was necessary to reboot Bud Light due to its “fratty” image.
“It’s a complete lack of corporate oversight, and it’s been that way since (InBev) took the company over,” Lachky added, referring to the Belgian-based corporation that acquired Anheuser-Busch in 2009 and cleaned house of many execs who were forced out – including him – as well as overhauling the marketing department.
During his tenure, he was the driving creative force for the beermaker that had the magic touch when it came to ads that both entertained customers and drove sales, one of the most successful being the swamp-bound frogs that croaked “Bud,” “Weis” and “Errrrr” which an Adweek writer once called one of the “most iconic alcohol campaigns in advertising history.”
(Video: YouTube: The Hall of Advertising)
Among other big hits for Lachky were the “Whassup” spots with friends talking on the phone while watching the game on television, a catchy phrase that resonated with consumers and helped Anheuser-Busch sell a lot of beer when the ads ran in the late 1990s-early 2000s. He also worked on the award-winning “Real Men of Genius” campaign.
(Video: YouTube: The Hall of Advertising)
“It’s pretty obvious InBev continues to fan the flames on their own with their defensive comments,” Lachky, who now runs his own consulting firm in St. Louis told the New York Post.
He may have been referring to remarks from AB InBev global CEO Michel Doukeris who blamed the backlash on “misinformation and disinformation” spread online, a convenient excuse that is used to explain away inconvenient criticism and narratives that aren’t compatible with the ruling class.
In more troubling news for the alcoholic beverage colossus, the damage has begun to spread to products other than Bud Light.
“It’s not just a Bud Light issue,” Bump Williams, the chief executive of Bump Williams Consulting told the New York Post. “It’s an Anheuser-Busch portfolio problem now.”
Fallout continues as Bud Light boycott spreads to other Anheuser-Busch productshttps://t.co/hsK5SdlCVv
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) May 10, 2023
“If Bud Light doesn’t fix its trend by the end of this month, it will continue to lose market share because it will lose Memorial Day. That kicks off the summer season,” Williams added. “There has to be a sense of urgency for InBev to correct these trends.”
“It’s self-inflicted,” Lachky said of the roaring dumpster fire that is consuming Anheuser-Busch.
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