surprise at PC

Incomprehensible, Budweiser!

A marketing blunder for the case studies in MBA programs if I ever heard of one.

From the 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-has the desire to shock the consumer become something we are expected to stop and pay attention to, for even a nanosecond?

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.

I am thinking about the message they attempted to make us guzzle, despite real alcohol-related problems in our society: the silence by administrations about rapes on college campuses, with no regard for the beverage industry’s social 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 pasta. Products, and services that self-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.”

Marc W. Halpert

LinkedIn personal coach, group trainer, marketing strategist and overall evangelist, having a great time pursuing my passion of connecting professionals so they can collaborate better!

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