Hey Bud-this one’s for you!

Incomprehensible, Budweiser! A marketing blunder for the classic case studies in MBA programs if I ever heard of one.

From today’s NY Times article about Budweiser’s new, and thankfully short-lived slogan:

In a continuation of its “Up for Whatever” campaign, a wide blue band low on the label says, “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.”

Hey Bud-please tell us which highly paid marketing executive(s) at the fancy ad firm thought this was in good taste.

Hey Bud-did not a single one of them (and it must be more than a few people who approved this!) hear that small voice in the back of their highly educated heads say “That’s not right!”?

Hey Bud-social media lit up on this topic yesterday. Good. I am pleased social media arose for the intended purpose: a moral compass on topics we all face, in the spirit of openness and positive conversation.

Hey Bud-how much did this cost you? In dollars and reputation, a deliberate and deliberated (not typos) blunder was made, not anticipating the outcome of a connected public. Dig deep.

Hey Bud-has your ill-fated desire to shock the consumer, explained away in yet another public apology, and now the second one since St Patrick’s day when you stumbled before, become something we even care about, like the boy who cried wolf? 

I am amazed at the message they expected us to guzzle, despite real alcohol-related problems in our society: the silence by administrations about rapes on college campuses, their disregard for the beverage industry’s socially responsible campaign around designated drivers, and the continued message of sexism in beverage advertisements.

Saying “no” is everyone’s right, alcohol-clouded or not.

Marketing gurus: never monkey with that.

Well, no loss to me or my pocket; I never drank Bud and will never now, same as my opinion of Hobby Lobby and Barilla. Products and services that identify with the opposite of my sense of civility and inclusiveness are neither on my radar screen nor in my shopping cart.  I am an educated consumer. I remember.

Ok, I will end this fable with the moral for us all: Brand your message correctly; message your brand correctly.

The LinkedIn twist (you knew this was coming): it’s the same situation with your brand on your LinkedIn profile: start at the headline at the top, clearly and very deliberately identify what you and your company stand for. Make the next sections reinforce the these concepts, in different words, all the way down to the bottom: build your brand progressively. Speak to the audience.

Add “yes” to the reader’s subliminal vocabulary when they think of you and your offering, far more powerful than removing “no.”


Originally posted to LinkedIn by Marc Halpert

Marc W. Halpert (CLAS ’77) is a “multi-preneur,” having started 3 companies, all of which he continues to operate. His third company “Connect2Collaborate” spreads his LinkedIn and networking evangelism worldwide to train and coach others to better explain their brand and positioning on their LinkedIn profile pages.


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