Bud Light’s #UpForWhatever slogan crosses the line
Bud Light lands in hot water after they supplemented their slogan “#UpForWhatever” with a provocative subline: “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary from the night.”
Their message stemmed from Bud Light’s new campaign that arrived after their commercial in last year’s Super Bowl – last year, feeling old yet?
The ad begins with an unsuspecting trio of friends walking into a bar and ordering a Bud Light. Hidden cameras and microphones capture their conversation as the bartender leans in and asks, “Are you up for whatever happens next?” And what happens next leads to a clandestine club filled with an enthused crowd and everybody’s dream: a life-size Pac Man game.
Now, if a random someone asked me if I was up for whatever, I’d be a little more skeptical. as would the rest of the world. Nevertheless, Bud Light’s campaign aimed to associate their urine-distilled alcohol – so I’ve heard – with a light-hearted, easy-going atmosphere for the night.
Like their beer, Bud Light’s five layers of marketing approval fell flat when their new label caused an uproar on social media.
Shane Nicholson tweeted the bottle with the caption: “Bud Light: The Rapey Beer.”
I’m surprised that the beer company’s marketing campaign failed to predict how people would react to their slogan, especially the most controversial part: “removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary.” There’s a national campaign to prevent rape on college campuses called “No Means No.” But apparently to Bud Light, “No” means “Up for whatever.”
Niccollo Machiavelli tweeted, “Remember kids, if she says “yes” to a bud light, ‘no’ isn’t in her vocabulary.”
I get where Anheuser-Busch Company tried to go with their label, trying to associate their beer with going out with friends, having a wild adventure and a story to tell. But know where the line falls and stay within its borders.
However, I also hate how social media blew up and went directly to rape. Yes, rape is a sensitive and critical issue, but you could make any slogan sexual.
AT&T had a slogan that said, “Reach out and touch someone.” Woah there, don’t go there. Buy me a drink first AT&T, anything but Bud Light.
An international advertising company, Kenyon & Eckhardt, flaunted their slogan, “A little dab’ll do ya.” What idiot thought that mesage was a good idea? Fortunately, we don’t have to see that slogan anymore because the company was bought out.
Even today, it’s easy to pervert Nike’s “Just do it” slogan to promote rape culture.
Since the uproar, the Anheuser-Busch Company issued an apology: “It’s clear that this particular message missed the mark, and we regret it. We would never condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior.”
The beer company crossed the line with their most recent message. But it also shows that any slogan can be transformed into a sexual innuendo if you think long and hard about it.
Production of the offensive subline will be stopped and all 140 labels will go into further review. As if their foam water wasn’t bad enough, Bud Light really dropped the ball on this one.