Conservative America can be likened to a sleeping giant. He will stomp all over you if he suddenly wakes up, facing an attack and being fleeced of something important to him — like respect. No one has ever been reminded of this more clearly than Anheuser-Busch.
The company’s lack of sales over the Fourth of July weekend placed yet another exclamation point on that reality. According to OUTKICK, Bud Light failed to claim even a corner of the U.S. beer drinking marketplace or map.
Conservative, beer drinking Americans instead threw Modelo Especial, Coors Light, Miller Light, Yuengling, and Michelob Ultra into their coolers and called it a day. Normally loyal, “that street needn’t run both ways after all” seems to be the message traditional Bud Light drinkers are sending through plummeting sales and billions lost in market cap since the company partnered with Dylan Mulvaney for a publicity stunt advertising itself to be a March Madness promo.
The difference between the OUTKICK map released after the recent holiday weekend and the one posted on Twitter on April 5 says it all:
— Marc (@MeltzVegas) April 5, 2023
Consumers are speaking through their dollars. It is a language corporate America has taught them well in its evolution, especially lately. And “wokeness has no place in it” is what these once loyal drinkers continue to say.
This doesn’t mean that they are hell bent on denying progress or living in a hole. It means that politics and beer don’t mix in their opinion. And if left to remind companies of this, they aren’t afraid to press the point loudly.
The problem for Anheuser-Busch now is that their faux pas leaves them nowhere to go. They can’t move forward or back. There is no remedy to be had.
If they blatantly apologize to their consumer base, they will be hung by the LGBT community, as well as liberals and the mainstream media. However, anything less will fall on the deaf ears of conservative Americans. Anheuser-Busch is forced to pick a side given the position that they have put themselves in.
Their lack of doing so is being perceived as weak, earning the complete and utter disdain of their previously agreeable audience. There is nowhere to go but down as a result.
As such, corporate America really needs to take note of this scenario, especially as politics is bleeding into every available crevice. As wokeness continues to be pushed by liberal zealots, the hijacking of traditionally popular brands, who endeavor to ride that wave, will continue to anger conservatives.
Bottom lines will be severely impacted. At the same time, newcomers will be given an opportunity. Just look at Modelo Especial emergence across the nation during the recent holiday weekend.
Originating in Mexico, this is a border crossing seemingly welcomed by conservative Americans — people who value good taste over poor judgment and aren’t afraid to show it.
I do find it a shame that Anheuser-Busch’s historical relationship with conservative, beer drinking Americans has come to such an unprecedented point. Most bad decisions have a bit of flexibility built in. There are very few you can’t come back from.
This is one of those unusual cases, however, attributed to the moment in time in which the mistake was made. “Today” isn’t like any other day in our nation. There is little to no forgiveness granted because there can’t be. The identity of the United States is at stake.
To conservatives that means one thing. To liberals that means something very different. To that same end, our brands will be caught in the middle of that struggle.
In other words, take heed if you are planning out your marketing strategy over the next two years especially. Remember who you are serving and plan out all courses of action, just in case you suddenly get dragged — or walk yourself — into the political fray.
Companies need to understand what to do if they unexpectedly find themselves at the center of the fight. Try not to put yourself there intentionally like Anheuser-Busch did. Their attempt to grow their Bud Light brand inadvertently demonstrated just how much they had outgrown their britches.
That woke the sleeping giant, leaving him to do the only thing that he could — stomp out their brand.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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