Bud Lite Lights A Social Media Firestorm


Bud lite recently caused quite a stir with their release of the bottle above. Particularly the slogan “Perfect beer for removing “No” from your vocabulary #UpForWhatever”.

The title of this piece at the time I first turned it into a draft (April 29th) was hyperbole. I had come across the story somewhere in social media, and figured it would be a great one to, exaggerate a little. But as things would happen, its now less an exaggeration then a quite accurate observation of reality.



I suppose that thinking that the title of this piece would remain hyperbole was an egregious error on my part, knowing the age we live in.  And I have to be honest, this ad does offend me a bit. But likely not for the reasons most might think.

But first things first, the campaign. It started with a tweet sent march 17th (which has since been removed).


Following the tweet was the recent release of the bottles and their quote “rapey” slogan.

For me, the most offensive part about this story is the #UpForWhatever campaign. I can’t even assign all that much blame to Anheuser-Busch for this nauseating to the senses promo, because its based on societal trends. Everyone wants to be part of the conversation, and everyone wants to be seen online, so run a marketing campaign with an embedded hashtag and your set. Its the cheapest international ad campaign there is, with far more exposure. Because people do the selling FOR YOU!

I do acknowledge the offensiveness of this campaign to the feminist minded. But frankly, you just became a part of the campaign to.
These companies make big money off the younger generation, so they know what the trends are. This is why these companies are on social media. They know that is where they can find their target audience. And then some, since facebook can target brands on your timeline if one or more of your friends “like” it. Don’t bitch them out either, it was not done with their permission (well, besides something buried in the ToS somewhere).

Knowing that these companies likely have a good grasp on the realities of what makes #GenerationHashtag tick, I suspect that they would know that feminism and rape conversations have reached a feverish pitch in recent times.  You don’t even have to be on social media to know this! UVA was well covered both in the traditional AND online news media (note that I am talking about exposure, not quality of reporting). And this is not the only time when feminist issues have crossed the line (how many shows have Anita Sarkeesian and others like her been on?).

If it were an ignorance of so called “rape culture” on the part of the company (in particular, those in marketing), the tweet (and its backlash) would have solved that problem. I have no doubt that the many twitter feminists would be sure to give the company a piece of their mind.
Being the release of the bottles was approved, it makes me think that the marketers know exactly what they were doing. Their observation of social media would have told them how much of a hair trigger many feminist minded individuals and groups have to pretty much anything that could be viewed as even slightly “misogynistic” or “rapey”.

So, release a slogan that is ambiguous enough to avoid a legal headache, but explicit enough to play right into the online feminist persecution complex. Then sit back, and let the social justice warriors do their thing.
Of course, later on you have to retract the slogan and a few bottles (in the grand scheme of things) and say “Opps! Sorry! We didn’t know that we were offending anyone!”. But its all good because by then, the feminist community is in an uproar. They will be talking feverishly amongst themselves, the online feminist and progressive news outlets (is there really a difference anymore?!) will be publishing scathing articles that will further spread on social media. And the traditional media outlets will also shed light on the story do to the corporate “Opps!” factor (HA!), with their online editions of the articles spreading the story yet further.

Even I have become an unwilling corporate shill in this brilliant scheme, just because I wrote about it.

Congratulations on becoming part of the campaign. Condemn Bud lite and their other products all you want, you just helped get them far more exposure then ANY ad campaign you could ever buy.
Marilyn Manson always considered the protesters of his shows as being, part of his act. Without the protesters, he would not have had NEARLY as much exposure as he got in his heyday.

Though it pains me to use a man that I respect so much in a post about a bunch of sheepish idiots on the internet, it is fitting. Because whatever side your on, Anheuser-Busch is laughing all the way to the bank.

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