Bud Light ad co-creator says being too cautious could hurt advertising creativity

The co-creator of one of Bud Light’s most successful ad campaigns expressed concern over companies being “too cautious” in their marketing, noting that people in advertising are no longer able to “push things” as far anymore.

Bob Winter, one of the creators of Bud Light’s “Real Men of Genius” ad campaign, stated in a recent interview that the beer brand needs to be “very careful” in its advertising going forward, but lamented that this could also impact the brand’s creativity over fears of offending any consumers. Winter’s analysis comes around two decades after his ad campaign for Bud Light, which was incredibly popular in the 2000s, poked fun at the various jobs and mannerisms that men work and practice.”I worry a little bit sometimes that that’s going to make everything be too cautious and not as creative,” Winter told Fox News Digital. “But, you know, certainly you can’t push things as far anymore, probably for good reason, because we’re all a little bit more aware now, hopefully, hopefully we are, and a little bit more sensitive and have a little bit more empathy. So yeah, it’s obviously a different world, a different time.”

Winter added that a way for Bud Light to navigate any potential pushback from consumers could be to use the foundation of the “Real Men of Genius,” which would be to “let people in on the joke with us.” Winter argued that the appeal of his ad campaign came from its reliability, as many people who watched the ads would think, “Yeah, somebody does do that job.”

“And as long as you’re letting the audience in on it with you, I think you’re going to be OK,” Winter said.

Winter’s analysis on Bud Light exercising caution comes after the beer brand is coming to the end of a rough financial year, which started after it did a partnership with transgender social media star Dylan Mulvaney. That resulted in major pushback online, and the brand underwent financial losses for most of 2023 as a result.In October, Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, reported a 13.5% decline in its third-quarter United States revenue per 100 liters, which is a key measure used for beer sales. Anheuser-Busch InBev also reported its sales to U.S. retailers going down by almost 17% “primarily due to the volume decline of Bud Light.”

Going forward, the brand is seeking to regain the consumers that it lost, with Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Michel Doukeris citing a recent poll that stated 40% of ex-Bud Light consumers were willing to buy the drink again. As part of the plan to bring back customers, Bud Light partnered with football legends Emmitt Smith and Peyton Manning to star in an ad titled “Easy Rounds.”



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