Bud Light VP said she wanted to update the 'fratty' branding
Bud Light’s VP says she wanted to update the ‘fratty’ and ‘out of touch’ branding with ‘inclusivity’ days before Dylan Mulvaney’s controversial partnership with beer was unveiled
- Alissa Heinerscheid spoke on a business podcast on March 30 to claim that the Anheuser-Busch beer had been ‘in decline for a really long time’
- The Harvard grad stated that it was essential that the brand attract more female and younger drinkers because otherwise ‘there will be no future for Bud Light’
- Heinerscheid gave her expertise just three days before a furious backlash was unleashed on the company when it partnered with trans influencer Mulvaney
Bud Light’s vice president said she wanted to update its ‘fratty’ branding with ‘inclusivity’ days before Dylan Mulvaney’s partnership was unveiled.
Alissa Heinerscheid spoke on a business podcast on March 30 to claim that the Anheuser-Busch beer had been ‘in decline for a really long time’ – despite it being America’s number one brew with a market share of more than 13 percent.
The Harvard graduate stated that it was essential that the brand attract more female and younger drinkers because otherwise ‘there will be no future for Bud Light.’
Heinerscheid, 39, gave her expertise just three days before a furious backlash was unleashed when transgender influencer Mulvaney released the Bud Light promotional on her Instagram page.
Now the company is reeling from its controversial marketing strategy and has not posted on its official Twitter account for more than a week – prompting speculation there has been an internal shakeup as a result of the botched advertising campaign.
Mulvaney’s April 2 Instagram post included her drinking a beer with her face printed on the can and lying in a bathtub knocking back Bud
Despite Heinerscheid’s belief the Bud Light brand is on the wane, it remains the flagship beer of parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev.
The Belgian multinational, the world’s largest brewer, saw its profits rise above expectations to more than 7 percent in the last quarter of 2023.
It reported last month its core profit – earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation – earnings was $4.95 billion.
Heinerscheid previously worked as a marketing guru at AB InBev, Bud Light’s parent company, before moving to take the helm as the beer’s vice president in July last year.
Her LinkedIn profile proudly states that she is the ‘first female to lead the largest beer brand in the industry.’
She told the Make Yourself at Home podcast that she was convinced Bud Light must incorporate ‘inclusivity, it means shifting the tone, it means having a campaign that’s truly inclusive, and feels lighter and brighter and different, and appeals to women and to men.’
Heinerscheid claimed she had a ‘super clear’ mandate to ‘to evolve and elevate this incredibly iconic brand.’
She criticized Bud Light’s former marketing strategy as dated and male-focused.
‘We had this hangover, I mean Bud Light had been kind of a brand of fratty, kind of out of touch humor, and it was really important that we had another approach,’ the Wharton graduate argued.
Asked by the host about what she was bringing to the table at Bud Light, Heinerscheid said: ‘I had a really clear job to do when I took over Bud Light, and it was ‘This brand is in decline, it’s been in a decline for a really long time, and if we do not attract young drinkers to come and drink this brand there will be no future for.’
Heinerscheid previously worked at Johnson and Johnson as a brand manager for Listerine mouthwash. Prior to this she was on the marketing team for Cheerios.
She was educated at the $60,000-per-year Groton School in Massachusetts before going on to Harvard where she studied English literature and then business school at Wharton where she took a master’s degree in marketing.
The decision to work with Mulvaney angered many loyal customers, including country singer Travis Tritt, who made the decision to remove all of the products from his tour bus and Kid Rock, who shot at several cases of Bud Light.
The beer giant’s last tweet came on April 1, when they posted: ‘Beers on us? Must be game time. For a chance to win, cheer on your team with #EasyToEnjoySweepstakes in the replies.’
While they have gone a few days without tweeting in the past, the official Twitter account is typically active, as are their other regular social channels.
Alissa Heinerscheid told the Make Yourself at Home podcast on March 30 that she was convinced Bud Light must incorporate ‘inclusivity, it means shifting the tone, it means having a campaign that’s truly inclusive, and feels lighter and brighter and different, and appeals to women and to men.’
The transgender influencer is not Bud’s first foray into woke. In 2019 it unveiled these rainbow bottles for the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York
The feed had tweeted 10 times in the prior seven days and is usually active during large sporting events such as the Master’s golf tournament at the weekend.
Given that the partnership with Mulvaney was unveiled during March Madness, the annual NCAA basketball tournament, it’s notable that the brewer did not at all tweet during the University of Connecticut’s victory over San Diego State in the championship game on April 3.
Mulvaney’s April 2 Instagram post included her drinking a beer with her face printed on the can and lying in a bathtub knocking back Bud.
The Instagram video currently has over 11,000 comments, many of them unhappy with the promotion.
A spokesman for the firm which makes Bud Light said: ‘Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics.
‘From time to time we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney. This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public.’
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