A Bud Light ad from 1994 shows men badly impersonating women and mocking their gender, a stark contrast to how woke the beer company has become in 2023.
This month, Bud Light’s marketing team featured a man badly impersonating a woman, a complete reversal, but without the humor or lightheartedness.
In the 1994 ad, a bunch of men in dresses compete in “Ladies Pool Night” for the “1st Prize Bud Light.”
“These guys are good,” one of the women in the ad says as one of the male cross-dressers knocks another ball into the pocket.
“Who are you calling guys?” one of the men says.
Of course, the outrage would be unprecedented if that ad were shown today.
The punchline comes when they come face-to-face with “the defending ladies’ pool champion,” another man, this one the Bud Light spokesman famous for the then-brand catch-phrase, “Yes, I am.”
If you have forgotten the origins of the “Yes, I am” campaign, another reminder.
But that commercial wouldn’t be quite as revelent in the current climate, with Dylan Mulvaney, as/was the face of Bud Light.
The cross-dressing ad has also been attracting a bit of attention in the comments.
“There’s no way anyone could realize how prophetic this commercial was,” one commenter said.
“Life imitates bad art,” another added.
Some comments were more to the point.
“lol and these Trumpers boycotting bud light yet these commercials existed in the 90s…… there almost 30 years late to the boycott,” one apparent liberal commenter said.
We might call this ad “fraternity” humor, something Bud Light wants to stay away from.
Bud Light vice president of Marketing Alissa Heinerscheid recently said, “Bud Light had been kind of a brand of fratty, kind of out-of-touch humor.”
Heinerscheid said she had “a belief in ‘OK, what does evolve and elevate mean?’ It means 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.”
So that included a campaign with Mulvaney, a transgender male whose “365 Days of Girlhood” racked up his follower count to 10 million on Twitter.
In contrast to the older Bud Light ad, the Mulvaney partnership campaign was entirely straight-faced.
The irony is that the Mulvaney Bud Light campaign has become a laughingstock, but for all the wrong reasons.