Oh boy. Bud Light’s #UpforWhatever campaign is in trouble again. What started out as a fun, youthful, lighthearted campaign to encourage spontaneity, now in its second year, looks like it’s missing the mark with women, the target market they are desperately trying to attract to curtail soft sales.
This current campaign includes a variety of messages printed on 12-ounce bottles to supposedly inspire consumers to try new experiences. Their latest message: The perfect beer for removing “No” from your vocabulary for the night, is taking a lot of heat, as it is being interpreted as promoting irresponsible drinking, and flies directly in the face of the “No Means No” anti-rape and “Just Say No” anti drug campaigns.
Bud Light is trying to be #UpForWhatever promoting this campaign, but really needs to think about what will truly enhance their brand image versus just trying to be cutesy and carefree. (Just this past March, Bud Light was forced to take down a post on Twitter that appeared to promote some type of sexual harassment: “On #StPatricksDay, you can pinch people who don’t wear green. You can also pinch people who aren’t #UpForWhatever.”)
Reality Check: While Bud Light did have the courage to run a gutsy campaign with #UpForWhatever, it needs to ensure that it remains true to its brand image AND to the target they want to engage — NOT turn them off. Think Bud Light needs to learn to just say NO to offensive copy.