NEW YORK, NY – Budweiser released a new “pro-America” ad this weekend on Twitter that showcased iconic patriotic images – in addition to referencing the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City – in an obvious attempt to desperately course correct after intense blowback from their customer base for the company’s controversial partnership with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Unfortunately for the well-known beer brand, reaction to the commercial on social media basically amounted to “too little, too late,” with the fires of the anti-LGBTQ backlash seemingly stoked further by what many considered to be a distasteful attempt to pander to Budweiser’s former customer base after seemingly turning a large chunk of them off by their partnership with Mulvaney.
The controversy began earlier in April when Budweiser’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, announced that its Bud Light brand had partnered with Mulvaney – a biological male who identifies as female – to commemorate her having lived “365 days of being a girl.”
Mulvaney posted a series of videos announcing that Bud Light had sent her a personalized cans of their beverage – featuring an image of her face – to celebrate her milestone, with the influencer calling the cans her “most prized possession.” However, the announcement drew the ire of conservative celebrities and social media users, who called for a boycott of Bud Light.
Anheuser-Busch’s stock subsequently lost $5 billion in value from the resulting backlash, and the company’s social media accounts went completely silent from April 1 until this past Friday, when Budweiser posted a new commercial that was obviously designed to entice back the many customers who have stopped buying their beer.
The video advertisement features a narrator delivering patriotic messages while one of the brand’s famous Clydesdale horses travels across the United States, passing numerous iconic American landmarks such as New York City – including a lingering shot of the former location of the World Trade Center, destroyed in the 9/11 terror attacks – the Lincoln Memorial, and the Grand Canyon, in addition to showing rugged men cracking open cans of the beverage and a couple raising the stars and stripes up a flagpole.
“This is a story bigger than beer,” the narrator says. “This is the story of the American spirit.”
However, if Budweiser was hoping that the ad would rehabilitate their image with their client base, it appears they were sadly mistaken; response on social media was nothing short of savage, with users accusing the company of blatantly attempting to pander to them and continuing their calls for a boycott.
“Hey @AnheuserBusch, if you’re at a point where you’re literally referencing 9/11 in hopes that it would make us flyover yokels run to the store to salute a 12-pack of Bud Light, you should just apologize instead. Hoping we’re stupid enough to buy this ad is insulting,” tweeted Red State senior editor Brandon Morse.
“Lol, hard pivot huh?” tweeted Angela Mcardle, Chair of the Libertarian National Committee.
“HAHAAHAHA Budweiser new ad shows the freedom tower and horses. If they ended it by saying Investigate 9/11 I would be like “that’s dope,” tweeted comedian Tim Dillon.