Bud Light lost hundreds of millions of dollars last year after teaming up with the transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney for a partnership back in April.
Now, Bud Light is desperately trying to backtrack, as the brand has just announced that it is partnering up with the conservative comedian Shane Gillis, who was dropped as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” after only five days due to footage emerging of him making what some felt were racist and homophobic jokes.
Bud Light Teams Up With Gillis
Gillis, 36, announced that he was teaming up with the brand in an Instagram post marked “paid partnership with Bud Light.”
“Excited to announce partnership with Bud Light #budlightpartner,” Gillis wrote.
“Welcome to the team @shanemgillis, excited to be a part of your 2024 tour,” Bud Light added in a separate post.
The Street described this partnership as being “somewhat shocking because Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) CEO Michel Doukeris said during his company’s second-quarter earnings call that he intended to avoid making political statements.”
“Our consumers across all sentiment groups have three points of feedback in common,” Doukeris reportedly said. “One, they want to enjoy their beer without a debate. Two, they want Bud Light to focus on beer. Three, they want Bud Light to concentrate on the platforms that all consumers love, such as NFL, Fields of Honor, and music.”
“After that statement was made, however, the company then immediately became the largest sponsor of UFC, the mixed martial arts group run by Dana White, a friend and supporter of Donald Trump who has done nothing to stop his fighters from going on anti-transgender rants,” the Street added.
Gillis Addresses Bud Light Sales Plummeting
This comes as sales of Bud Light continue to plummet, with sales in the first two weeks of 2024 down 28.9 percent from the year before, according to Daily Mail. This is largely due to conservatives launching a highly affective boycott of Bud Light over the brand teaming up with the transgender influencer Mulvaney.
Gillis addressed the Bud Light and Mulvaney fallout while appearing on “The Joe Rogan Experience” last year.
“It became a joke, and that is tough to overcome marketing wise,” Gillis said. “It’s tough to get people to order a Bud Light publicly because you are gonna get made fun of.”
“They should hire kid Rock to be the spokesman,” host Joe Rogan said, according to Newsweek.
“We talked about it last night, that would be the best,” Gillis continued in agreement.
Gillis Dropped By ‘SNL’
Gillis definitely knows a thing or two about cancel culture. Back in 2019, he was dropped as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live!” just five days after it was announced that he would be joining the show. Gillis was reportedly axed after jokes surfaced that he had made on a podcast years prior that some felt were both racist and homophobic.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining ‘SNL,’” the sketch comedy show said at the time, according to Fox News. “We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. The language he used is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable. We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.”
The fact that Bud Light would team up with Gillis shows just how desperate the brand is to win back the conservative consumers that it alienated last year with its Mulvaney partnership. Only time will tell whether this move will pay off for Bud Light in the end.
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