Ad campaigns are intended to boost sales. When they don’t, marketers get nervous. In rare cases, an ad campaign can bomb so bad that it has a negative effect on sales, and that’s what appears to have happened with Bud Light.
Anheuser-Busch InBev invested heavily in two celebrities who they hoped would be able to push the bipartisan message of their new anti-politics ad campaign, but Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen failed to resonate with Bud Light’s target market.
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The “Bud Light Party” television advertisements were canceled weeks ahead of schedule. In the ads, the two mock bipartisan political division and encourage America to come together over a beer. The crux of the message is that the beer isn’t aligned with either political party, and that it is at the heart of a larger “American” identity.
Schumer, though, has taken her political message to the stage. Audiences at recent performances have walked out of her stand-up performances when the Canadian-born comedian turned her material toward direct attacks on Donald Trump.
Though the ads were intended to be apolitical, they struck a nerve with some audiences. One commercial, titled “Equal Pay,” mocked the gender wage gap. In it, Schumer praises Bud Light, saying that it “costs the same, whether you’re a dude or a lady.”
“Despite continued positive signs in brand health evolution, driven by millennials and Hispanics, 3Q was the softest performance of Bud Light for the year from a volume and share perspective,” Bud Light senior director of marketing communications Lisa Weser told Adweek.
“The Bud Light Party campaign helped us improve these brand attributes, but it did not translate to improved volume and share performance. While we are clearly not satisfied with Bud Light’s performance, we are already leveraging what we’ve learned to develop and execute new work.”