If you’ve ever seen a Budweiser commercial, you know that the brand is usually pretty funny. Most of their campaigns endearingly feed into the frat like culture that the beer promotes. However, a new slogan printed on their bottles have left some wondering what they were thinking this time. So much so that the company has pulled the slogan all together, no longer using it in any of their ads or on their bottles. The new label is failing particularly within the female segment of Bud Light customers.
The saying reads “The Perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night,” and does not seem to be doing too well with customers. The phrase was coined as a continuation of the companies “Up for Whatever” campaign. Although meant to be something fun and exciting for drinkers to rejoice in letting loose, other have taken the ad to mean something much different. Rather than perceiving it as the (bud) light hearted, fratty saying it was (hopefully) intended to be received as, women and many others across the internet have picked up on its unfortunate sexual connotation, alluding to the date rape culture. Especially in a setting/country where women and feminists around the nation are crying out for a stop to date rape culture, especially on college and university campuses,this ad could not have been more poorly planned or released at a worse time.
People were visibly upset by the ad, sparking tweets and posts online calling for the company to take responsibility for it and its removal. Even US Rep Nita Lowey took a stand, tweeting, and sending an email claiming “This grossly shortsighted marketing tactic shows an epic lack of understanding of the dangers associated with excessive alcohol consumption, such as sexual assault and drunk driving. We need responsible companies to help us tackle these serious public health and safety problems, not encourage them.”
Of course, the company immediately backtracked as best they could and admitted the choice of word in the ad was definitely not the best. “It’s clear that this message missed the mark, and we regret it…We would never condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior,” claims Bud Light VP, Alexander Lambrecht. Although the company stopped all production of cans and bottles with the label on it, there are still those produced prior, continuing to circulate the market. I would like to say that a problem like this is not foreseeable in the future, but that probably is not an accurate statement. This is not the first of Budweiser’s slip-ups with bad ads. Even within this specific “#UpForWhatever” campaign, this is not the first incident. They had similar instance happen back around St. Patrick’s day that attracted very much online backlash from the public. For such a successful and funny company, you’d think Budweiser’s marketing team would know better than to let lazy work affect sales.