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Beer Is Transgender Now, Because The Money Is In Transgender Beer
This Is Capitalism At Work
To be very clear, the Anheuser–Busch companies do not give a single damn about LGBTQ rights. That is, sure, maybe some of the executives personally care about these civil rights matters as part of their personal consciousnesses, but the corporate entity that sells Budweiser does not give a single damn.
What Anheuser–Busch does care about is making money, and that’s why the company has allied themselves with a transgender influencer and has a marketing campaign professing support for transgender and gay equality. The company’s decision is the latest in a long line of corporate decisions in this direction, not because corporate America is “woke,” but because corporate America is in the business of making money and there isn’t a whole lot of money (comparatively) in being bigots.
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The company’s ad campaign is the right wing’s hate object of the moment, allowing Bud Light to join the ranks of such notorious figures as Disney, Keurig, M&Ms, the Muppets and others. The intellectually bankrupt right always needs something to hate, last week it was Mickey Mouse, today it’s Bud Light, tomorrow it will be something even dumber like Barbie or God knows what. It hardly really matters.
Anheuser–Busch is doing this because the point of a company is to move units out the door. Bud Light has been on the market since 1984 and is about as ubiquitous as water at this point. It is safe to assume that they key demographic of people who are most likely to drink Bud Light, straight men who watch sports, is probably saturated after 34 years on the market. As a regular NFL watcher who has seen a million of these ads over my lifetime, but who can’t stand the taste of beer, their ad dollars are wasted on me.
But Anheuser–Busch understands that there’s more to the world that straight guys who watch football. So how does a company like them move units of Bud Light? Get a transgender spokesperson.
It’s the same mindset behind shoe companies like Nike and Reebok affiliating themselves with figures like Michael Jordan and LeBron James. At one point, and this seems bizarre considering what we know after the 1980s and 1990s, sneakers were an older white guy thing. Nike hit the wall with white guys and when Jordan joined the brand, a whole new — more diverse — world opened up to them. And they made billions of dollars from it. There’s a movie now.
This is a growing phenomenon. Turn on any television or YouTube stream nowadays and you’re likely to see a multiracial family selling you car insurance or breakfast cereal or a trip to Walmart. There’s a good chance a same-sex couple will star in an ad for a multivitamin or luxury cruises. Asian couples selling wedding jewelry! Latino people pushing McDonalds! Black people hawking wealth management products!
Any crazy thing could happen.
These companies aren’t appealing to demographics outside of the traditional American majority because they suddenly grew a diversity-filled conscience. They’re marketing to an increasingly diverse America because that is where the money is. People are simply more likely to buy a product or service or visit a store if the marketing better reflects the real world they live in. “See honey, that Black couple also thinks Jif is a better peanut butter, lets go buy some,” is the stuff marketers dream of.
There isn’t much of a downside for companies to do these things. Despite the loud howling of right wing media like Fox News, the universe of people in 2023 who are truly disturbed that their beer is LGBTQ friendly is pitifully small. Most people will not care, while the people who are the target of the persuasion campaign and those sympathetic to their cause will be more likely to have positive feelings towards the brand.
Conservatives are desperately trying to hold on to an America where they are the only ones who matter. To them, the world is only right when everyone else bows before straight, white, wealthy males. They don’t think the rest of us, the people who don’t tick their boxes, actually count.
But big business has the power to look at their balance sheets and see very clearly that we do. They don’t care if the bank accounts handing them money are gay, transgender, Latino, Asian, or Black. As long as the money is green and the stock line goes up, they will be happy.
The conservative movement and its affiliated Republican Party professes to love capitalism, but the way they freak out when a company does the most capitalistic thing possible — attempt to increase profits by broadening the customer base — would seem to indicate otherwise. They don’t want true capitalism, not if it means the money of transgender Americans talks as loudly as straight dollars. God forbid.
The trend is in favor of increased diversity in marketing and customer appeals. Companies cannot continue to grow just by selling to the Fox News crowd, who are dying off like Reagan voters.
The future is transgender beer. Got to move product. That’s the way.
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