(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) In a recent podcast, Alissa Gordon Heinerscheid, the self-described “first female to lead the largest beer brand in the industry,” claimed that it was necessary to detach the “declining” Bud Light brand from its frat-party image, instead emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, the Blaze reported.
Soon thereafter, the brand turned to Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender diva and TikTok influencer, to be the new face of Bud Light.
The move alienated many of the brand’s loyal beer-drinkers who found its virtue-signaling, like other woke corporations’ efforts to push a radical ESG agenda, to be offensive.
Celebrities, including musicians Travis Tritt and Kid Rock, led the way in staging personal boycotts of products from Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser–Busch, which is owned by the European InBev.
During the March podcast for “Make Yourself at Home,” Heinerscheid, whose technical position is vice president of marketing, noted that the beer brand planned to deliberately turn away from its customer base in order to “evolve and elevate” the beer to appeal to more favored classes.
She emphasized that Bud Light has been a beer “in decline for a really long time,” citing the waning interest in the watered-down beer as justification to rebrand.
“If we do not attract young drinkers to come and drink this brand, there will be no future for Bud Light,” she said.
If it is to be a success, Bud Light must represent the “heart of revolution,” Heinerscheid added.
“What does evolve and elevate mean? It means inclusivity,” she said.
“It means shifting the tone,” she continued. “It means having a campaign that’s truly inclusive and feels lighter and brighter and different. And appeals to women and to men.”
Bud Light, for Heinerscheid, has suffered from a “hangover,” meaning that it has traditionally been associated with a “kind of a brand of fratty, kind of out-of-touch humor,” which demanded that she and the company take “another approach.”
In past interviews she has emphasized similar themes, noting that she wants to use the brand to promote her own favored political causes.
“Female representation is a personal passion point of mine,” she told Forbes in February, emphasizing the need to appeal to mothers.
While studies have shown binge-drinking often runs rampant within the LGBT community, it remains to be seen whether the company’s gains can offset its losses.
Several microbreweries already pander to the LGBT community with higher-quality products that may appeal more to those with greater disposable income than the typical Bud Light drinker.