Bud Light’s slogan campaign is getting a rash of backlash today over one of its latest “Up for Whatever” campaign slogans. Bud Light has over 140 different scroll messages that appear on their beer bottles that are meant to encourage “spontaneous fun, but one may have taken it a bit too far, according to critics today.
One of the quips found on Bud Light bottles suggests that the beer is “the perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.” That doesn’t sit well with folks who are familiar with the slogan that “no means no,” when it comes to a woman saying she doesn’t want sex. Critics claim that the slogan “promotes rape culture,” according to MSN Money News on April 28.
This Bud Light “Up for Whatever” campaign is in its second year and the company said in a statement via email that it does not promote irresponsible behavior. The released statement apologized for the slogan that suggests by “removing no from your vocabulary for the night” promotes fun. They’ve also promised to retire that particular slogan from their numerous line of quips, reports NPR News today.
This slogan had to go through so many folks from the Bud Light company and the advertising company working with Bud Light. How did this get past so many people, most likely including a legal department, without someone saying, hey…you can’t use this? This is the question Gretchen Carlson asked on Fox News Wednesday afternoon. Carlson and her panel of three women saw this slogan as something that should have been stopped before it went out the door.
One of the women on Carlson’s panel, Carol Alt the supermodel, actress, author, entrepreneur and Fox News contributor, also saw this as “brilliant” advertising for Bud Light. She totally thought the message was inappropriate, but looking at it from a different angle, a company can benefit from all the free advertising. Bud Light has apologized and the slogan is being removed from the 140 other slogans they use, but look at all the free advertising this beer product captured!
Some folks who drink Bud Light had no idea that slogan was even on the bottle, but they know now. Will this become a trendy way to use social media for advertising? Will others pick up on this phenomenon? If you think about it, planting a mistake is easy and then it’s just as easy to sit back and wait for the hoopla to boil up on social media.
Then a company can bask in free nationwide advertising that comes along with it after making a heart-felt apology. While no one is accusing Bud Light of doing this on purpose, in the end the free advertising came whether it was a mistake or a planted ploy, as it would for any company that presented a controversial marketing campaign.
Social media lit up with people pointing out the error of their ways to Bud Light with this particular slogan. Even U.S. Representative Nita Lowery from New York chimed in calling on Bud Light to promote “responsible drinking,” not reckless drinking.
The company said that their Bud Light “Up for Whatever” campaign has “inspired millions of consumers to engage with our brand in a positive and light-hearted way.” Bud Light did say that out of the more than 140 messages that they’ve used to encourage spontaneous fun, “it’s clear that this message has missed the mark.”
Social media can be the vehicle to rocket a product to fame and it can also be the major factor in a product’s failure in the market, it is a strong and powerful force in today’s world. While Bud Light probably won’t feel any dent in sales for this gaffe, the inappropriate quip was spotted quickly and the word got around almost instantly, which prompted the Bud Light folks to pull the slogan from the lineup of quips they’re using.