Budweiser ad 2023 – A Desperate Attempt to Salvage Brand Reputation

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TV Commercial Review

Memorable
Effective
Style
Heart or Humor
Execution

Too late

A patriotic tribute

Amid the ongoing Bud Light backlash, Budweiser released a new ad titled “The Shared Spirit” to reconnect with its alienated consumer base. This patriotic Budweiser ad 2023 aims to evoke the classic Budweiser vibe, with the iconic Clydesdale running through scenes of blue-collar America, first responders, firefighters, and farmers sharing a cold one. The narrator concludes the spot with a grand statement: “This story is bigger than beer. This is the story of the American spirit.

Unfortunately for Budweiser, the advertisement appears to be a desperate attempt at damage control that might be too little, too late. While the ad captures the essence of America and the spirit of camaraderie over a shared beer, it seems hastily put together and comes across as a disingenuous effort to make amends with the customers they’ve offended.

The backlash from the Bud Light controversy has caused many country and rock artists, such as Kid Rock, Travis Tritt, John Rich, Ted Nugent, and Riley Green, to distance themselves from the brand. Furthermore, Bud Light’s VP of Marketing, Alissa Heinerscheid, didn’t help matters by labeling the brand as “fratty” and “out of touch.”

Social Media Comments about Budweiser’s Advert

Social media has been buzzing with reactions to Budweiser’s “Shared Spirit” ad, with many comments highlighting the advertisement’s inability to address the core issues that led to the Bud Light controversy. Some users have sarcastically praised the ad for its attempt to distract viewers with patriotic imagery, while others have demanded a sincere apology from Anheuser-Busch’s CEO. Several commenters have also shared their experiences of finding alternative beer brands they enjoy more than Budweiser products.

Many social media users have expressed their dissatisfaction with the brand by making humorous remarks about the ad. One commenter joked about the horse explaining its pronouns and privileges, while another mentioned the horse turning to the camera and saying, “it’s morphin’ time.” Some users have also pointed out that they have noticed fully stocked shelves of Budweiser products in stores, suggesting that the controversy has affected the brand’s sales.

However, not all comments were negative. One user mentioned that the comment section of the ad had lifted their spirits, while another user seemed to enjoy the patriotic aspects of the commercial genuinely. Despite these few positive comments, the overall sentiment surrounding the “Shared Spirit” ad on social media has been largely critical. Many users feel that the advertisement was an inadequate and insincere attempt to address the Bud Light backlash.

Budweiser ad 2023
Clydesdale in town

Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth’s statement, in which he takes responsibility for ensuring consumer pride in their beer, falls short of addressing the core issues that led to the controversy in the first place. The company seems to be attempting to sidestep the real problems instead of genuinely addressing them and engaging in meaningful conversations with its audience.

The “Shared Spirit” ad might have been intended as a heartfelt tribute to the American spirit, but it has been met with resounding criticism on social media platforms, where users have slammed the advertisement as a blatant and insincere attempt to win back customers.

Budweiser ad Clydesdale on the beach
Budweiser ad – Clydesdale on the beach

PROS

  • Nostalgia and Patriotism: The “Shared Spirit” ad brings back the classic Budweiser imagery, including the iconic Clydesdale and scenes of blue-collar America, evoking nostalgia and patriotism in viewers.
  • Focus on Unity: The advertisement emphasizes the idea of bringing people together over a beer, showcasing first responders, firefighters, and farmers enjoying a shared moment, which is a positive message.
  • Brand Recognition: The ad reinforces the strong brand recognition of Budweiser by utilizing familiar visuals and showcasing the company’s long-standing connection to the fabric of America.

CONS

  • Insincerity: The timing and nature of the ad make it seem like a desperate damage control effort rather than a genuine attempt to reconnect with customers and address the issues at hand.
  • Lack of Resolution: The advertisement does not acknowledge or address the root causes of the Bud Light controversy, which may leave customers feeling that the company is avoiding responsibility for its actions.
  • Backlash: The “Shared Spirit” ad has been met with widespread criticism on social media platforms, further alienating the customer base and potentially damaging the brand’s reputation even more.

Budweiser’s Advert Conclusions


Budweiser’s “Shared Spirit” ad may have aimed for a patriotic and heartwarming comeback, but it has only further alienated its customer base. Instead of hurriedly producing an ad that glosses over the real issues, the brand should have taken a more thoughtful approach, engaging in open dialogue and demonstrating a true commitment to change. The road to recovery for Budweiser will be long, and it’s uncertain if they’ll be able to regain the trust they’ve lost.

Budweiser ad Clydesdale
Clydesdale

Brendan Whitworth -CEO, Anheuser-Busch – statement
“As the CEO of a company founded in America’s heartland more than 165 years ago, I am responsible for ensuring every consumer feels proud of the beer we brew.
We’re honored to be part of the fabric of this country. Anheuser-Busch employs more than 18,000 people and our independent distributors employ an additional 47,000 valued colleagues. We have thousands of partners, millions of fans and a proud history supporting our communities, military, first responders, sports fans and hard-working Americans everywhere.
We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.
My time serving this country taught me the importance of accountability and the values upon which America was founded: freedom, hard work and respect for one another. As CEO of Anheuser-Busch, I am focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage.
I care deeply about this country, this company, our brands and our partners. I spend much of my time traveling across America, listening to and learning from our customers, distributors and others.
Moving forward, I will continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation.

A patriotic tribute

7.6

A patriotic tribute to the American spirit

Memorable8.0
Effective5.0
Style9.0
Heart or Humor8.0
Execution8.0
Reader Rating: ( 2 votes ) 2.5

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