Anheuser-Busch, desperately struggling to recover its reputation and save its top-selling beer brand, has a new marketing plan to win back consumers who were repelled by its campaign with controversial transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Last week, the company reportedly held a meeting at its headquarters in St. Louis with executives from distributors to discuss a strategy for dealing with the marketing campaign’s backlash.
One of those distributors, speaking anonymously, told the New York Post that the brand will produce Bud Light and Budweiser bottles featuring camouflage patterns and images honoring fallen veterans.
The images will reportedly come from the “Folds of Honor” program, a non-profit that provides scholarships to the children and spouses of fallen and disabled veterans and first responders.
The temporary redesign will only effect aluminum bottles, according to the executive.
Bud Light sales are down 23.4% compared to this time last year.
While there has been much focus on Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney (a biological male) for his transgender identity, few outlets have gone into why Mulvaney is such a controversial presence.
Bud Light sent Mulvaney a customized can directly referencing his “days of girlhood” video series, where he documented his transition day by day.
In the videos, Mulvaney often attempts to explain what it means to be a girl while offering a demeaning caricature of womanhood, often relying on negative tropes and stereotypes.
In videos that often seem like a parody, Mulvaney plays the “ditzy idiot girl” stereotype and declares himself brave for facing critics.
The marketing executive who oversaw the partnership with Mulvaney, Alissa Heinerscheid, has taken a leave of absence and appears to have been replaced. The company also said it made changes to how its senior marketers are connected to brand activities and are monitored by the chief marketing executive above them.