Experience Is A Dear School…

… but fools will learn in no other, as the old saying has it – and ‘dear’ in this sense means ‘expensive’. From all reports concerning the marketing debacle over Bud Light beer, the marketing executive responsible, one Alissa Gordon Heinerscheid is about to learn one of those very dear lessons. When someone sits down to write a history of bad marketing decisions in modern times, this is going to be one of the more spectacular chapters. Amazing that someone so expensively educated in the marketing trade could fall so spectacularly flat-footed. Somewhere back in the mists of time, someone must have imparted the wisdom that alienating the old core market for your product before appealing to the new core market was a bad move. A very bad move.

Look, as far as I could tell, Bud Light isn’t a particularly awful beer – it is and was just barely OK, cheap and readily available. The old core market, which seems to be working-class males, drank it out of habit, more than anything else. I do give Ms Heinerscheid props for looking ahead and realizing that the appeal for Bud Light had to be widened, in the face of competition in the marketplace for better-tasting, local-artisan brands, that were just about as inexpensive. But nuking the brand in the eyes of the established core market by recruiting Dylan Mulvaney, famed for LARPing as a twelve-year old Audrey Hepburn wanna-be … look, social media influencers like Dylan Mulvaney undeniably attract the eyeballs and likes, and I suppose that eventually the dollars do follow … but Dylan Mulvaney and the beer favored by blue-collar males? Does she even know any blue-collar, working-class men?

Sigh. Probably not, which is why this endorsement dropped with the clangor of a man-hole cover hitting the pavement from two or three stories up.

You know what I would have done, were it my job as brand manager to have widened the market for Bud Light to appeal to women, and women of all ages? I’d have focused an ad campaign on authentic women, women with organic, original-issue grown-from-scratch lady-parts, emphasizing the outdoors, summertime, camping, or glamping with the girlfriends, sitting around the glowing campfire in the evenings. Having fun in beautiful, scenic, and wild spaces, all in the company of their best friends. Any spectacular national park would do. Attractive, happy women of all ages; fishing, hiking, mountain-biking, canoeing, making camp, watching cute wildlife and listening to happy birdsong … and enjoying a Bud Light. A good few years ago, I remember reading in a travel magazine, about a group of women in IIRC, the South-west, all friends who owned tiny vintage trailers and caravans. Most of the ladies featured had rehabbed, refitted, and adorned their trailers, * which were all the last word in cute. And they met every year at a campground, for a good time with their friends.
I’d start building an ad with a group like that, in my national ad campaign. It’s probably too late to rescue Bud Light, but I’ll throw it out for free to any brand manager who wants to build market appeal for beer among women; genuine, all-natural original lady-parts women.

*This isn’t the article I remembered, but close enough. Although actually, just from the general appearance and demeanor of the trailer owners featured, they all look as if they wouldn’t mind a beer or two with friends. I’d use younger, but still wholesome and attractive women for the ads themselves.

45 thoughts on “Experience Is A Dear School…”

  1. I read, on Twitter, a theory that this all has to do with AB InBev’s relationship with The Regime.

    The thrust was that ABI has something close to or at 50% of the domestic beer market and, of course, wants more. How do they do that without running afoul of anti-monopoly statutes? By snuggling up real close to FedGov regulators in all the ways that you would expect…and by being a mouthpiece for whatever the FedGov wants to be said. FedGov wants the trans stuff to be vociferously supported, so here we are.

    This has nothing to do with what the customers may want; this is about facilitating the purchase of more of your favorite brands by ABI.

  2. we need a better turn of phrase here for original lady-parts women :-)

    how about “Classic Women”? Worked for Coke!

  3. Wish that I could think of one, Joe P!
    Interesting theory, Mike … but if the brand turns out to be dead in the water, what has ABI gained then?
    In the end, we have our eyeballs and our dollars. And if they manage to eliminate all but one brand, I wonder if they can make us buy it, especially when home-brewing is an option.

  4. I would guess that one reason that Bud Light did not do a series of commercials like you suggested was; as much as Heinerscheid hates and detests middle to lower class working men who actually do work for a living, she hates detests and fears the kind of independent women you describe even more. After all, their very existence is a rebuke to her own.

    Note that I am speaking as someone who never did drink all that much and who went more for what I perceived as quality by my own tastes [ales and stouts for beer instead of pilseners like the light beers are, and single malt scotches instead of blends]. And I had to stop even that because alcohol and my heart meds don’t get along at all well. So I am looking at this from the outside in with no vested interest.

    But I suspect in these days when the Party Line is more important than reality, both Anheiser Bush and InBev would rather lose all of Bud Light’s sales and most of the sales of the many popular brands that fall under their corporate ownership than face the wrath of the State.

    ‘Служу трудовому народу!’

    Subotai Bahadur

  5. She claimed that the beer’s image was ‘fratty’, which presumably has something to do with fraternity boys…who, by definition, have gone to (or are currently going to) college. But this doesn’t seem to be the beer’s actual current deographic.

  6. This is a virtual gold mine for anyone wanting to write a case study. Unlike previous boycott efforts, e.g. P&G moon logo, Gillette shaving commercial, Kaepernick and Nike; this one has some unique features.

    1. Unlike razorblades and tennis shoes, beer doesn’t keep. What you don’t sell in a couple months, you have to toss. A short-term drop in sales is a real problem, and this might not be short term.

    2. Beer brands are a matter of self-identification, like Harley-Davidson, Carhartt, etc. (lots of examples) but beer is not an investment, it is an impulse purchase. Easy to buy another one, easy not to. Of course, anyone with a Bud Light tattoo has a problem.

    3. Razor blade manufacturing requires a lot of technical expertise and a huge capital investment. Gillette is hard to take on. Even so, they lost 5 points of market share for one goofy commercial. Taking on Nike would require finding 100,000 slaves and setting them up in factories in Xinjiang. Not that easy. Pretty much every small town in America has a microbrewery and every one of them can beat InBev like a drum.

    4. One of the silly conceits of B-schools is that if you can manage one business, you can manage any business. All businesses are the same, you just use your training, skills and talent and you can manage any of them. The truth is that all businesses are unique and it is necessary to understand a business to manage it well. Even beer.

  7. Without becoming entangled in the pointless argument about whether Bud Light is real beer, there are two types of endorsements that are useful for advertising.

    The first is common identity with the supposed customer. If Joe or Jill like it, I might too. The other is the aspirational endorsement using celebrities of one sort or another. If Joltin Joe drinks it, I’ll be more like him if I do too.

    Mulvaney doesn’t fit in either place. Kaepernick was the prototype of the anti-celebrity, Nike hasn’t gone broke yet. Arguably, Kaepernick’s target was outside the U.S. As far as I know, the foreign market for Bud Light is negligible and Mulvaney would have to be very careful about itineraries for any overseas tours.

    Celebrity endorsements are a DWI or messy divorce away from disaster and all the cheaply bought reporters are being monopolized by Democrats. so keeping it out of the papers is problematic. Maybe they figure we already know the worst about these, so it’s all up from here. I’ll bet Ted Bundy would have endorsed anything for a couple cartons of cigarettes.

  8. One of the maxims I learned about politics as a kid was that coalition-building was like magnets, when adding pieces to your coalition, make sure they attract or at least don’t repel the other parts. I think the same would apply these days to the new fragmented, influencer-driven marketplace. Despite falling production, Bud Light is still one of the top-brands in a very fragmented market and is especially popular among the same young demographic that supports transgenderism. Dylan Mulvaney, what ever we my think of him, is a cultural icon with 10 million Tik Tok followers and was granted an interview with the President of the United States; I cringe on both accounts but for someone like Heinerscheid that was probably cat-nip and at our age we no longer are the key demographic

    In many ways this is a lot like the other big endorsement deal involving Mulvaney that dropped last week. Nike has decided that it was going to wade into another cultural-war topic, like it did with Colin Kapernick, and in a time where men playing women’s sports is roiling the waters make Mulvaney the face of feminine athletic beauty. Hey it worked with a flag-kneeling, hate my racist-parents guy like Kapernick right? To top it off LGBT+ icon and Nike spokeswomen Sue Bird and Meg Rapione have both signed a letter calling for the right of men to play women’s sports which puts the company right in the middle of the “civil rights” controversy, Nike didn’t ask any of its “TERF” customer base their feelings on the matter because they don’t matter.

    Going back to Sgt. Mom’s point about alienating your old customer base, repelling your existing customers while trying to attract new ones, this is as much about power as it is building brand. Heinerscheid probably gets paid big bucks to come up with marketing plans and the best she could do was something that just set 40+ years of brand equity alight in a dumpster fire. Perhaps she was partaking of the company inventory when she dreamed it up. In reality this is about power and prestige. The Biden Administration has been mainstreaming transgenderism since Day 1 and has put the full weight of the power and prestige of the federal government behind it. The other big winner is Heinerscheid because she just boosted her street cred as the brilliant mind to have the first transvestite to sell beer. The big loser besides InBev stokcholders? All those Bud wholedsalers who are part of your local business community who just saw a big chunk of their value go up in smoke, well every cultural war has its causalities, and the important part was that Left gets to trail its colors.

    One final note? Is it any coincidence that the Mulvaney’s Nike/Bud deals as well as the Biden Administration’s push to make men playing women sports a Title IX issue happen the week after the Covenant School massacre a coincidence? Both were probably in the works for a while but that was a lot of ground to be broken in such a short period of time to be more than coincidence. Perhaps one of our enterprising journalists who thirst for truth and “objectivity” (kiss my rear end Leonard Downie) might want to look into what InBev, Nike, and the Biden Administration did. There’s a story about the last 2 weeks and I’m betting this is part of it.

  9. You’re all overthinking it. It’s much simpler than that: THEY HATE YOU.

    They’re not the only ones. LucasFilm, Anheuser Busch, NASCAR, the NFL, etc. all hate their current customers and wish they had different ones. This ad campaign was done to make a point. It wasn’t enough to attract new customers. They wanted to rub your nose in their contempt for you.

    ” Attractive, happy women of all ages; fishing, hiking, mountain-biking, canoeing, making camp, watching cute wildlife and listening to happy birdsong … and enjoying a Bud Light.“

    AB already has a brand for them: Michelob Ultra. Mich Ultra’s ads feature attractive men and women doing exactly those things in picturesque outdoor settings with the slogan “This is your beer.”

  10. There is a great discussion of of on Meagan Kelley’s podcast (heard first on Sirius XM). Bottom line, the woman hates the demographic that supports the brand – as most of the “East Coast Elite”.

    This reminds me of the Dixie Chicks bad mouthing George Bush overseas completely enraging their core base – country western fans. I remember videos of massive numbers of their CDs being bulldozed on the pavement.

    And what’s with this “guy” being a “spokesman for women?”

    I feel like I am living in Bizarro World.


  11. I think what happened here is that large corporations have been doing a lot of these small outreaches (is that a word?) to various woke constituencies for several years. They did this either because the marketing people agreed with the wokesters or because they wanted to keep the Twitter mob off their backs. It all flew below the radar for normies and there was little if any pushback. (Jack Daniel’s did a drag theme promotion a while ago that went unnoticed–until this happened.)

    But this time it went off like a nuclear weapon because things have changed. First, Mulvaney inexplicably gets a lot of attention so news of the stunt went viral almost immediately and EVERYONE knew about it. Second, it dropped shortly after the Nashville shooting which culminated several years of aggressive trans-pushing by the left and fed up consumers finally snapped.

    I think it’s pretty clear that Bud Light was caught entirely flat footed and that they still don’t know what to do. That’s understandable because there are no good choices left. Back off Mulvaney and maybe even apologize? Too late for the normies and it would only inflame the woke. “Bravely” stay the course? That would just make normies angrier and spread the contagion. Just lay low and hope it blows over? Sgt. Mom hit the nail on the head when she said the core market drank Bud Light out of habit. AB gave them a reason to break the habit. They probably won’t be back. It’s not that good a product.

  12. It would have made more sense if AB had decided to pull this stunt on one of the new alcoholic seltzer concoctions. The niche market there is young people who want to consume something that gets them a bit tipsy but lacks the negative connotations of beer. Beer belly, frat parties etc. Exactly the sort of demographic that a scrawny, vamping spokesentity might appeal to.

    I’ve not touched a drop of Bud Lite in decades. Having lived through the Dark Times of the 1970’s when beer varieties were few and lousy I have very much enjoyed both home brewing and the craft beer renaissance it launched.

    Let’s set aside our political axes for a moment and salute the sole positive act of the Carter administration…..legalizing home brewing!

  13. As far as Bud Light, I am going to go as a final answer with a variation of what T Migratorious said. I think InBev, like lot of corporations, are trying to find a way in with the key 18-34 demographic which with its new cultural norms and influence of social media is quite different than its past variants. I’m willing to bet that the people who signed-off on Heinerscheid are probably a lot like executives I met in the 90s who knew nothing about the Internet but were desperate to get in. Make no mistake, Mulvaney is a big cultural influence on Tik Tok and I imagine Heinerscheid sold those subscriber numbers and other parts of fame to make the C-level suite feel like they were in getting in on the ground floor of something. Well and they did, the start of Heinerscheid’s career as a cultural icon; she was acting in her own interests and the not those of the company

    Second compare Nike to InBev. Nike knows how to work the rebellion, edgy angle into its marketing and make it stick. The fact that InBev has decided it wanted to be the Forlorn Hope is going to allow Nike to push through their Mulvaney campaign which will make it easier for the next campaign until it will be seen as “normal” to have men larping as women pitching products. If you read through the legacy media outlets on this the Left is having a field day because they see both 1) that we in the Right hate this 2) and that they double-dog us to do anything about it.

    Third, I think it’s time for Meg Rapione to take her star tour on stage as public enemy #1, well maybe just ruthlessly mocked because I wish her no physical harm; perhaps Tucker could do a show on her. The kneeling bit at the Olympics is bad enough but the fact that she signed off on promoting men playing women’s sports while promoting Nike should outrage every member of the LGB part of the Woke alphabet (and I know many who are) She’s a shameless hypocrite who basically found a way to cash in on being seen as a radical, but really kissing up to power.

    You know who is the anti-Rapione? Martina Navratilova. I was too young when she had her all-world run to really know what she was about, but now? In a time when people make millions and gain fame for being “brave”, Navratilova was a defector who lost her country and by coming out as a lesbian lost millions of dollars. She also took a public stand against men in women’s sports and got crushed for it. I probably don’t agree on much with her but wow does she have guts. She can come over to my place and shoot up cans of Bud Light anytime.

    It’s been barely two weeks since Covenant and look what we have been talking about since then. I’m horrified, impressed, and curious all at the same time because this is the roadmap.

  14. There are a lot of people who, when they take a new job, focus not on what the job objectively requires to be done well, but rather on:

    –what they *like* to do
    –what they think will best enhance their future promotibility

    …or both.

  15. Single-handedly making Miller Lite #1 is only going to look good on her resume until they find out that she was working for AB.

  16. I see no comments on the fact that AB is no longer an American company. Quite a few marketing decisions have been made by foreign born and raised executives of American companies. It is a more and more common phenomenon that foreign born executives are running American companies. Coca Cola is an example but I can’t remember who was running things when “New Coke” was launched and crashed. As American education declines we see more high executives coming from other countries that value merit. Some of them don’t understand American culture very well.

  17. It is very rich that the Bud Light brand was responsible for maybe the greatest ad campaign is US history: the 20 year REAL MEN OF GENIUS campaign.

    Way back in 199X, a friend who was the morning-drive producer for a major Los Angeles FM station — a very high-profile media property – told me that the RMOG spots were so hilarious and universally popular, that he would use them strategically as counter-programming. If an 8-minute segment was flailing, or the whole show was too low-energy, he would cue up RMOG spot for the next ad break. SLUMP-BUSTER!

    (I never even knew that there were TV ads as well. The spots were perfect on radio.)

    The crowning touch was the use of Dave Bickler, aka the Survivor lead singer of “Eye of the Tiger” fame, as the “inspiring soaring vocals” guy. Perfection.

    Actually it just hit me that this whole thing would make a hilarious Real Men of Genius commercial. Holy crap! If Bud Light did this it would be the greatest marketing coup EVER!

    “Today we salute YOU! Mister or Miss or Them pretending-to-be-a-girl-to-sell-beer-to-dudes-person!

    In a nation searching for role models, they somehow chose … well, YOU! You don’t even know who or what you want to screw, but you know you love Bud Light. Ok sure.


  18. All of this assumes AB wanted to keep Bud Light. It is to beers what the La Salle was to cars. It was a declining brand. So . . . go out in a blaze of glory that gets you mucho EDI points. Keep Bud Light as your specialty beer for trannies, and otherwise kill it. Create a new brand to fill the Bud Light niche without having it associated to Bud Light.

    Crazy? Anyone remember Marlborough? The macho cigarette for men – Marlborough Country and all that? It started out as a woman’s cigarette before being recast as a macho smoke.

  19. I’ve scanning the Left media for their takes on the Mulvaney Bug Light issue. I do it, well, let’s just say to broaden my horizons. CNN has a piece (https://www.cnn.com/2023/04/12/business/bud-light-dylan-mulvaney/index.html) that is actually one of the better summaries from the Left and hits their key points while showing their logic:

    1) The move is pure genius because Bud Light had been in decline and has to broaden its appeal, Mulvaney has a big following, and Bud has done stuff before that appealed to the LGBT+ community like rainbow cans.

    2) There’s the short-tern pain for long-term gain angle: “There have been many cases of brands growing their business as a result of taking a strong stand that resulted in some criticism, but even stronger engagement with a key audience,” Tim Leake, chief marketing officer at the ad agency RPA, told CNN.” Then there is “What we see predominantly is the social media backlash… is often very short-lived,” said Pedr Howard, head of the creative excellence practice at the market research firm Ipsos. “The conversation moves on.”

    3) Anybody criticizing the move is a right-wing cultural troll whose microscopic voice is amplified way out of proportion by social media. The only critics mentioned were Travis Tritt, Kid Rock, and Dan Crenshaw – in other words a has-been, a country singer, and a GOP cretin from Texas. Not our, or at least the right, sort of people

    I think CNN’s piece is a pretty good summary on the game plan for the Bud Light/Mulvaney move: Point to the need the juice the brand (the New Coke argument), state that you actually expect that initial backlash because that’s usually the response to genius, and the only ones complaining are the right-wing MAGA types. Put yourself in the role of the forward-thinking hero, fighting against the dark forces of otherized barbarism, and anything that contradicts like audited results (sales) is pushed off to the future. This is another chapter in the Left’s information warfare playbook of how you deal with something that the rest of us finds incomprehensible or just shocking (Nashville, Afghanistan, transgenderism in schools….)

    I see this and realize that they really are going to do it…. and they are going to do it soon.

    Oh… the best part of the article? “People will say, I’m never going to buy this brand again as a result of this,” he said. “But in reality, price, availability, those sorts of things,” often inform purchasing decisions over perceived brand ethics.” Oh so in reality this whole Mulvaney thing was never going to move sales as much as in-stock and promotion, so that makes this whole thing a what ? Political stunt? The gain being what? I would say this is the ice breaker as far as normalization. I would imagine right around Thanksgiving when we see all those ads about family get-togethers you will see recognizably transgender adults and children laughing as they demand vegan options. I cannot wait for the Mulvaney F-150 ads during the 4:30 Sunday afternoon game.

    You know if some journalist had guts they would spend time during all those June Pride Month parties going around and interviewing LGB people what they think of Mulvaney and Bud Light. It would not be flattering.

    Oh and please destroy Tik Tok. Now.

  20. Here’s a challenge:

    Put a half-a-dozen of these fermented-rice, barley-and-hop-flavored “beers” into a double-blind taste-test. Use Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light, any of the prairie-dog-pee beers, and see if even their devoted fans can tell which one is which.

    And then ask them if they really want to support trans/groomers by purchasing any InBev product and see what happens. Once you prove to them through their own experience that, once chilled to just-above-freezing temperature, that there is essentially no difference between them guess what they’ll pick.

    According to what I’m seeing, both here and around the country, Bud Light sales have basically fallen off a cliff. [sarcasm on] Darned shame [sarcasm off].

  21. As far as I’m concerned, all these light/lite beers appeal to buzz per buck crowd. I doubt many used to drinking a beer or two at a sitting worry much about the calories. It’s the two or three six packs a day consumer that keeps the corporate jets gassed up.

    If financial considerations are paramount, Keystone or Pabst Blue Ribbon is your drink. Drinking one of the others makes it ever so slightly easier to believe you don’t have a real drinking problem. Some people may even like the taste better than actual beer, the world is a very strange place.

  22. JaimieRoberto – alas, I didn’t go to some university famed for turning out new-minted masters of the marketing universe. I do have just enough sense from the marketing classes that I did take, once-upon-the-day from various no-name institutions (including the US Air Force) to see where the marketing perils lie…
    Bud Light is probably dead as a brand. I suppose that the usual media cleaners-up-for-self-inflicted-media-disasters will now claim that ‘it was a dead brand walking and was gonna-die anyway’. But enough people still drank it out of habit, and now it’s going to be easy to kick that habit.
    As Tacitus suggested, it would have made WAY MORE SENSE to make Dylan the face of a new option, a new and trendy AB brand of hard seltzer, designed to appeal to … well, whoever the demographic that Dylan appeals to.
    Instead – sink an old reliable and still somewhat profitable product by tying it to the trendy, hot young influencer personality, although that personality is a very bad fit for the core consumer group for Bud Light.
    More and more, this reminds me of the Dixie Chicks debacle. In one fell swoop, the Chicks basically destroyed themselves with country-western fans.

  23. If you think about the music, the Dixie Chicks outgrew their audience. They were tired of rednecks and wanted to appeal to more sophisticated Fleetwood Mac followers. Obviously, it did not work out for them.

    There does seem to be a strong parallel if Bud Light has outgrown its audience. And presumably the outcome will be the same. That leads to an investment idea — buy some Bud Light cans. Wait long enough, and collectors will pay big bucks for those then-rare items.

  24. Good points on AB no longer being American and many of the Exec’s being foreign-born (from Belgium?)

    Know your customer base.

    I didn’t go to Harvard but I was acutely aware in my small business, to keep the customers I had happy while looking for more. What would have been the problem – in marketing to woman – of emphasizing its low calorie (most of whom are trying to keep their figures) and it “tastes great”? And have a real woman as a spokesperson.

    As for Bud Lite, I have this running joke with this German restauranteur who has tried very hard to have a nice German restaurant – and a tremendous assortment of German Beers (20-30 at any given time?)

    I ask her if she has gotten any Bud Lite lately.

    As to whether AB mgt is “unhappy” or not – I can tell you who is definitely unhappy – the distributers around the country. Who watched a significant source of revenue disappear and have stockpiles of this stuff.

    Don’t know how many of you watched that Megyn Kelley interview I linked – but one of the participants said something that resonated with me – that Harvard “marketing expert” from the Northeast had nothing but distain for the Bud Lite demographic. And this coming from a panelist with the same Harvard background. And as Megyn said how many people are “trans”? .001?

    And it is a mirror of the Dixie Chicks. I still haven’t forgotten that and would never by any of their music. (they renamed their Band “The Chicks”, too) Many others haven’t forgotten, either. It is part of “their brand”.

  25. They’ve already been the “Tastes great!” (debatable), “Less filling.” (physically false, subjectively unverifiable), low calorie for those that care, route decades ago. Women have been part of their target market from the beginning. By now, there can’t be six people in the country that drink beer and haven’t decided if they want to drink this. All the lites are trading customers from a fixed pool except for those just coming of age, and believe me, those have plenty of exposure, some of them outgrow it and decide taste matters.

    As far as new products, they’re doing that too, but somebody has to flog the old stuff.

  26. A lot of people get trained by events to believe that unsustainable practices can be sustained by force, lies and political will. Quantitative Easing, wind and solar power generation, electric vehicles, DEI, sex changes — all are forced trends with costs that get swept under the rhetorical rug. But ignoring the costs doesn’t make them go away, it merely delays inevitable reckonings and makes those reckonings more costly.

    A more cheerful way to look at all of this might be: The developed West has been so peaceful, and so prosperous, for so long, that recent generations of people have drifted away from earlier generations’ hard-earned wisdom about how bad things can get when people persist in ignoring the real costs of things. Maybe everything will remain great forever, but that doesn’t seem like the way to bet.

  27. Heinlein’s quote seems appropriate here.

    “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
    This is known as ‘bad luck’.”

    We are in for a run of bad luck.

  28. Never underestimate the Left’s ability to learn the wrong lessons from anything and everything. Same could be said for the GOPe.

  29. Many good points but I think Mike and mkent made some of the best. To sum up,

    1. They do it because they hate all that was formerly ‘normal’, always did, and ultimately the goal has always been to first attain equal status for all the formerly abnormal with the formerly normal, and then to marginalize the formerly normal. Any response that fails to understand this is missing the point. It was not about carving out a space, or freedom of choice, or being a minority not harassed or restricted by law. First be equal, at every practical and conceptual level such that no one even conceives of anything as abnormal. Then reduce that which was once normal to marginalized status in turn. This has always been true for some. It has been the dominant strain for 25 years at least.

    Remember that these are people whose far left intellectual ancestors hated [admittedly sometimes ugly] cheap postwar suburbs because they represented the rise of workers to comfort and prosperity, the move of workers out of [uglier] urban slums [beloved of Jane Jacobs, with whom I sometimes have some sympathy] and NOT into large [ugliest] housing ‘complexes’ [beloved of most earlier urban reformers] but rather into spaces with privacy and property, conducive to family life. They hate that. Both for control reasons and because this way of life and its values are wrong to them. They also deep down seem to hate related phenomena like straight, married couples with their own biological children. A fair number of people who write or draw seem to think all such families comprise fathers who rape and beat their wives and kids, exclusively. Other family structures are superior to them, as well as more malleable.

    2. They do all this because they CAN. They already control the information battlespace and the educational and entertainment worlds of children, and have been cementing this for literally decades. They already own the future.

    They even own the present- they are probably wrong in saying only a handful of MAGA types on social media are opposed to their agenda, I’m sure it’s many millions, and possibly even [just] still more people than favour it. They themselves have a small core of people on social media who drive things. But passive opposition or ‘barely aware of the context’ disgust counts for nothing. Disgusted ‘personally’ but ‘believe in tolerance’ and think that is a viable position anymore also counts for nothing.

    I don’t think any discussion that assumes there is a realistic chance of a real public groundswell or a change in societal direction is correct. I don’t think that any of the marketing based arguments are correct, at least not over the longer term. Ideological values and compliance with the state are what count.

    It’s too late. It might have been too late 20 years ago, when hardly anyone had noticed, and fewer paid much mind.

  30. We and our children and our children’s children – the ease with which the government has made truly outrageous regulations (no votes on many of these) cars and established a culture that seems to want to discourage beer drinking – well, what does a red blooded guy do? Maybe he joins chatrooms with guys like the leaker they just picked up.

  31. The argument that it is necessary to reinvigorate the market for a product by appealing to a younger cohort using a transgressive message, and that is necessary and justifiable to do so and to suffer a short term loss in sales for a longer term gain in market share is easily verifiable. There is a recent example that would be an easy case study.


  32. I read a headline that said that no “senior” management were in the loop. I remember a time when a VP would have been considered senior management. You’d have thought that the person in charge of marketing for a purely consumer, purely discretionary product would be worth someone higher than three or four layers of vice presidents below mattering.

    The supply of cheap, tasteless beer isn’t in doubt so I really can’t see this as a priority for a conspiracy. Just common stupidity and putting a moron in charge.

    On the other hand, there is some better news. I watched a video that I’ve lost track of or I’d link from Merry Olde England where various local governments are in a contest to see which can impose the most draconian restrictions on car use. One example was a household with three cars and drivers and two jobs would only be allowed to drive on 33 days per year, total. Being photographed exiting the boundary more times would generate a £70 fine. Shockingly, the various parts necessary for these schemes have been burning down, having wires cut and lenses painted over. One council, with 40,000 fines outstanding had to write them off when they were ignored and couldn’t be collected.

  33. Going and back and reviewing the ebb and flow of the Bud Light/Mulvaney story, I’ve noticed a few general points.

    First I don’t think many people in the general media really understand Tik Tok. It looks like it’s been farmed out as specialty coverage to some second-stringer like Taylor Lorenz or some kid out at business desk. However your lead national political reporter? You editorial board? Nope. I cannot say I understand it that well since I’m not a regular user; my initial education came at the hands of some middle-school girls on a Colorado Spring traveling volleyball team as we were waiting on a flight delay. The thing I took away from that is that Tik Tok is digital crack, Congressional hearings and media may focus on digital privacy but that algorithm is lethal as far as keeping people on it.

    Combine that algorithic addiction with gold old product placement; you know how powerful that is when you see the number of kids wearing Bass Pro Shop hats at my local high school (87% minority) I have seen a lot of media chum about Mulvaney having 10 million followers and therefore ideal for reaching a younger generation; it sounds impressive until you dig deeper you and find that level of followers doesn’t even get you into top 100 globally.

    So why Mulvaney as a brand spokesman? The White House has a very explicit Tik Tok influencer strategy (remember Benny Drama?), but that still doesn’t explain how Mulvaney scored a one-on-one interview with the President of the United States. Unless there is something unique about Mulvaney… yes of course we know what that is. We also know that if you take 5 minutes to look at Mulvaney’s numbers that the media spin about Bud Light reaching out to a new generation is just cover for normalizing a transgender spokesman. I mean if you wanted to reach out through Tik Tok to rebrand Bud Light, aren’t on numbers alone more than 100+ other influencers you could pick?

    None of the above is really news, not that Tik Tok through its algorithm is warping our kids’ minds and not that the leftist media tries to spin Mulvaney/Bud Light as some sort of brilliant marketing ploy . What is news is why Republicans and conservative media are playing along. The Democrats will not ban Tik Tok or even highlight its horrific effect if they think they can profit from it as a political tool (that’s just common sense)

    I think the whole Bud Light thing is a distraction from the more dangerous Mulvaney brand sponsorship involving Nike. The key battle over keeping men out of women’s sports is going on right now. We have the Biden Administration invoking Title IX of the Civil Rights Act to prohibit banning such involvement. You have the political prop of the letter signed by 40 Olympic athletes, including the Rapione-Bird power couple, railing against such bans (take that TERRFs!) So in this environment you have the most powerful athletic company in the world promoting a transgender person as some sort of female ideal.

    Last note, media out lets such as Vox and CNN have already written that not only is opposition to the Bud Light/Mulvaney sponsorship fueled by hate, but that it will be ineffectual. This is Info War 101 stuff, not just isolating your enemies as bigots but also depicting them as ineffectual – the barbarians of the hinterland. That’s why they are worried about InBev executives starting to walk back ever so slightly from the controversy (https://www.dailywire.com/news/new-details-emerge-over-mistake-that-led-to-bud-lights-paid-marketing-engagement-with-trans-influencer) because that dents the Left’s depiction of the historical inevitability of their cause. The Left wants us to rant and rave and threaten to boycott Bud Light because in part they don’t think we can pull it off and that failure to make any progress shows our weakness and creates openings. They need InBev to not break ranks because the next step is running Mulvaney (or some other trans) on TV ads. It’s coming, and once it does the world will have changed

  34. If anyone wants to have a copy of the old SF story, `The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal`by Cordwainer Smith (realname Paul Linebarger), I suggest they find one soon before it gets cancelled. It will soon be considered at least tangentially hate propaganda. Though friendly to felines.

  35. As oft noted, Bud Light isn’t good beer and I have no reason to care about the brand or its marketing. And woke corporations have been busy driving away their customers and losing that money for many years now.

    The only thing of interest to me in this story is how fast and hard the reaction against the tranny marketing campaign has hit InBev. I get the sense that they’re in shock, as normally woke corporations respond to complaints about wokeness with lectures about how awful their customers are along with promises to stay the course. Instead, InBev had Bud Light’s twitter go dark and are now claiming that no senior management knew what was going on. Apparently it was all the fault of Larry from the mailroom, somehow.

    At least when an idiot destroys a particular brand of low-rent beer, people can switch to Coors. When idiots wreck the electrical grid, or arrange it so that most people won’t be able to afford a car, we have trouble of an entirely different order.

    I have no doubt the left has a clever plan to fundamentally transform America into an empire of wokeness and servitude, just like Alissa Heinerscheid had a clever plan to transform Bud Light into the preferred beer of transvestites.

    Their problem is that folks will notice when the lights go out and they can’t afford a car to get to work. I suspect people will not be pleased, just like they weren’t pleased to see a tranny on their beer can.

    If only there was a political party willing to propose different policies. That will happen, right?

  36. Xennedy:

    “If only there was a political party willing to propose different policies. That will happen, right?”

    We haven’t had one for a couple of generations, despite claims otherwise, let alone try to carry out different policies. I rather doubt if one will arise in the short time before the question becomes moot.

    Subotai Bahadur

  37. We haven’t had one for a couple of generations, despite claims otherwise, let alone try to carry out different policies.

    I certainly agree. But twenty years ago I suspect I wouldn’t. I further suspect that there are hordes of people who have been figuring it out since Trump that the Gee Ohh Peee is a sham and a lie, and are looking elsewhere for a chance to redress their grievances. The same goes for rank-and-file Democrats, who haven’t got what they want either.

    I rather doubt if one will arise in the short time before the question becomes moot.

    I dunno. I think a new political party can arise with startling rapidity, in the same way Donald Trump came from TV Land to obliterate what was supposedly the best GOP field of candidates in all history, and Alexis De Tocqueville wrote that one could become an American in a day.

    This is the era of The Fourth Turning, and everything is up for grabs. As I implied above, the so-called leadership of the country has spent many years chasing people out of the established parties, nastily, presumably figuring it didn’t matter.

    Predictions are hard, especially about the future. But I will hypothesize that the present regime is on much shakier ground than it appears, not least because its leadership is roughly as competent as Alissa Heinerscheid. People are eager for a new alternative, and neither party establishment has it. That matters, I think.

  38. Xennedy:

    We agree on most of it, but where I think we differ is on the ease of an alternative candidate arising. A candidate can arise quickly and almost spontaneously him or her self, but to create a national campaign [which requires getting on the ballot in all the states] requires either an existing party with the statutory ability to get on the ballot [which would not exist for such a candidate and both supposedly separate parties would fight to the death to avoid nominating such a candidate] OR an unprecedentedly massive grassroots effort to petition said candidate onto the ballots nationwide. Any such petition effort would also be fought by both parties, with the Republicans knowing that such a candidate being on the ballot would mean their doom. Additionally, the bureaucracies of all the states would teach the lesson that the process is the punishment. And they would be aided by pretty much all the media.

    Assuming that we have something that can be called a real election in 2024, given the lack of electoral integrity rampant now, and that is something I am far from sure of; there is only a year and a half to create that nationwide machine from scratch.

    YMMV, but I kind of figure that the organic waste will impact the rotating airfoil long before 2026 or 2028. Mind you, I am an old man, and I may not be around when the mootness becomes manifest. But I have children and grandchildren whose future I fear for.

    Subotai Bahadur

  39. Xennady: “I think a new political party can arise with startling rapidity …”

    Respectfully, I have to disagree. The most recent US example was Ross Perot’s self-financed run for the Presidency. Mr. Perot was right on the big issue of rising unsustainable government debt. He managed to get on the ballot in every State, and got millions of votes — but the United We Stand party he launched went nowhere. The corruption since then of the electoral system makes it even more unlikely that an outsider today would be allowed to upset the Swamp Creatures’ applecart.

    A successful example might be the rise of the Scottish National Party to dominate (for better or worse) recent electoral politics in Scotland. There was a sudden switch in which millions of former Labour voters started to vote SNP. But if we look into the history of that “overnight success”, it came after about 70 years of hard work by mocked & ignored outsiders — more than two generations of dedicated supporters losing time after time but refusing to give up.

    We are not going to vote our way out of the current mess. There will be an unavoidable economic collapse when the rest of the world stops exchanging their real goods & services for our Bidenbucks IOUs. Life will be very unpleasant in North America for a while. And the big question is whether our Political Class will go quietly into the dustbin of history.

  40. A small, well perhaps not victory, but a dent in the Bud Light war. In a statement from the Anheuser-Busch (https://www.anheuser-busch.com/newsroom/our-responsibility-to-america), CEO Brendan Whitworth writes “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer” and “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”

    I know people think this is pretty weak but we’re little more than a week in on this, with no organized boycott, and A-B just admitted there is a problem of some sort. You never admit a problem unless it’s one that you cannot either bury or ignore. What happened? My guess is A-B’s wholesalers screamed bloody murder. While A-B and its corporate parent might be focused on quarterly earnings, wholesalers look at weekly sales and comp figures. Yeah A-B is a 800-lb gorilla but even it cannot afford to tick off it’s distribution network and some of those wholesalers have pull (Hennessy, of John McCain fame, control the whole Phoenix-metro area)

    All this happened without an organized boycott campaign, instead you had many, many consumers making individual decisions to walk away. The wholesalers, not any boycott campaign, translated all those decisions into a phenomena that A-B could not ignore.

    What happens now? If I’m the Left I would be a bit worried because A-B looks like they are just about to get the “skeer” put in them which would result in it addressing the problem directly and maybe even backtracking. That won’t do. My guess is there a lot of calls being made to A-B and InBev telling them to stiffen their spines and to Mr. Whitworth directly that’s he being paid good money in part to manage his wholesaler network.

    Like I said, perhaps not a victory but a dent. We’ll see what goes on from here but we’re further along than I thought we would. If I’m A-B I would be a bit scared because they just realized they are at the mercy of events. To use an Arizona analogy, it’s June, 110 degrees, hasn’t rained in 4 months, and the lightening storms are just beginning – in other words it’s fire season and you’re just waiting for something to happen

    Yeah baby

  41. We agree on most of it, but where I think we differ is on the ease of an alternative candidate arising.

    If I recall, you’ve been involved in this sort of thing and I have not. So I admit that I should yield to your practical experience.

    However, the present day US reminds me rather strongly of the Soviet Union, circa 1985. The leadership is at least as inbred as the Politburo and likely older. The military adventures are endless, expensive and unpopular. The economy is flailing, unable to produce a whole host of consumer items domestically, including most medicines. Our supposed allies are our friends because of a combination of expensive subsidies, bottomless promises, and meddling in their internal affairs. Worse, our idiot leadership is now planning to go to war with China after bungling their proxy war with Russia.

    I suppose my bottom line is that I’m just not sure how much longer the legal procedures for selecting candidates for the regime’s phony elections is going to matter.

  42. The most recent US example was Ross Perot’s self-financed run for the Presidency.

    I’m old enough to remember Perot and his campaign. I was not impressed when Perot dropped out the race because of the ninjas who disrupted his daughter’s wedding. I was also not impressed when I read Ed Rollin’s astonishing but hilarious account of Perot’s inability to function as a candidate. I also watched the live debate between Perot and Al Gore over NAFTA and I recall thinking Gore won. I’m not a fan, and I’m not surprised the party he led went nowhere.

    He managed to get on the ballot in every State, and got millions of votes…

    So despite his flaws and my lack of appreciation of him, he still managed to get his party on the ballot in every state? How long did that take?

    The corruption since then of the electoral system makes it even more unlikely that an outsider today would be allowed to upset the Swamp Creatures’ applecart.

    Point taken- but why should I assume that our corrupt and incompetent “leadership” will have the ability to stop a more competent Perot? They haven’t been able to stop Trump, despite endless efforts, for example. Also, I wouldn’t assume no part of our present Deep State will go along with efforts at reform. I note regime official Mike Rogers warned Trump he was being spied upon and the Civil War had plenty of pro-Union Democrats.

    We are not going to vote our way out of the current mess.

    Agreed. But this does not make me more worried about the regime’s electoral rules, especially knowing it ignores them whenever convenient.

    And the big question is whether our Political Class will go quietly into the dustbin of history.

    I’m going to guess no they won’t. But since we both expect ugly times in North America coming up soon, who do you think is going to take the blame for it all?

    I’m going to guess the Swamp will get the blame and the consequences, and won’t be charge of whatever emerges from the wreckage of the United States when all is said and done. We’ll see, whether we want to or not.

  43. He managed to get on the ballot in every State, and got millions of votes — but the United We Stand party he launched went nowhere. The corruption since then of the electoral system makes it even more unlikely that an outsider today would be allowed to upset the Swamp Creatures’ applecart.

    Perot had a viable candidacy until he went nuts about his daughter’s wedding. I would have voted for him. He would have had the same issues Trump had but the Deep State was not as powerful then. 9/11 made the Deep State the monster it is. The Patriot Act did it.

  44. A third party candidate running for President is a lot like an 18 year old intern expecting to be made CEO and utterly pointless. Even if elected, what would he accomplish with absolutely zero congressional support. In the end, not that different from Trump and his main liability, even now. If a third party wants me to pay attention, they need to get some candidates elected, just about anywhere.

    With deference to Sgt. Mom, we are expected to believe the Tea Party failed because they couldn’t get a proper IRS classification. While that didn’t help, even with it they were years of hard work from having a viable organization. In politics like everywhere else, you have to start at the bottom.

    In a way the fact that no one is elected Prime Minister is both an advantage and a curse of Parliamentary systems. The only way to get power is to elect enough candidates. The curse is that electing even a few candidates makes a party and enough different parties make government next to impossible. Unfortunately, in the U.S., having a one and a half party system seems to do the same thing.

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