The Global Chief Marketing Officer of Anheuser-Busch (AB), Marcel Marcondes, told Newsmax on Monday that the campaign with transgender Dylan Mulvaney was a “wake-up call” for the company. Hopefully, for the brand, he will realize that his effort against Mulvaney did not cause the Bud Light boycott. It was merely a symptom. The cause of the boycott was Bud Light made one of the biggest brand mistakes possible—ignoring and disparaging the brand’s primary audience.
AB CEO Marcel Marcondes accepted the “Creative Marketer of the Year” award at Cannes Lions, an event held in France described as the “Oscars for the adverting industry.” It seemed ironic that Marcondes was getting this award, however, given that his company lost $27 billion in the wake of the Mulvaney ad campaign.
Mr. Marcondes said told Newmax:
“In times like this, when things get divisive and controversial so easily, I think it’s an important wake-up call to all of us marketers first of all to be very humble. That’s what we’re doing, being very humble, and really reminding ourselves of what we should do best every day, which is to really understand our consumers. Which is to really celebrate and appreciate every consumer that loves our brands — but in a way that can make them be together, not apart,” the marketing exec continued.
Marcondes sounds like he is beginning to “get it.” AB CEO Brendan Whitworth certainly “gets it:.”
In a statement, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth said last Thursday his company recognizes “that over the last two months, the discussion surrounding our company and Bud Light has moved away from beer, and this has impacted our consumers, our business partners, and our employees. As we move forward, we will focus on what we do best — brewing great beer and earning our place in moments that matter to you
In the Beer business, the people who purchase the beer are not the only consumers. The people who get the beer from AB to the places the beer is sold are critical consumers:
“The company,” CNN’s Jordan Valinsky writes, “plans to provide financial assistance to its wholesalers, reimburse fuel for distributors’ trucks and launch a new ad campaign for Bud Light.”
If AB truly believes their campaign using transgender Dylan Mulvaney was a mistake and believes they need to reconnect with their consumers, the boycott may end. However, if they are just paying lip service to the issue, it will get much worse.