Bud light customer service is trying to get more women on board — and the brand’s latest ad is a clear sign of change. The beer that’s famous for its silly ads and frat-boy humor is trying to grow up a bit with a new spot featuring Miles Teller and Keleigh Sperry. It’s a spot that turns the frustration of being stuck on hold at a call center into a small dance party as the couple crack open a few beers and have a laugh.
The ad is the first for Bud Light that features women as the lead instead of men. But it’s not the only move the company is making to appeal to a younger audience. Heinerscheid’s team has been experimenting with marketing tactics that are more inclusive of LGBTQ communities as well. Last year, the beer released rainbow cans for Pride Month and partnered with groups like GLAAD.
But Bud Light’s outreach to the LGBTQ community has not been popular with conservatives, including musicians like Kid Rock. The backlash has hurt Bud Light’s sales and led to calls for a boycott. The brewing giant has been meeting with distributors to try to “dispel potential retailer misconception” about the Mulvaney campaign, according to an industry newsletter, Beer Business Daily. The brewer has also denied that Mulvaney’s single can was produced to be sold to the public.
On an earnings call last week, Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Michel Doukeris said the company was working to “send a message of unity and inclusion to our consumers.” He also downplayed the impact of the anti-trans backlash on the brand’s sales, saying US volumes in the first weeks of April represented only 1% of the company’s global volume.
Heinerscheid’s team has been focusing on how to make Bud Light more appealing to female drinkers and other demographics. The beer maker is looking to increase its Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures how likely customers are to recommend the product to friends. The current NPS for Bud Light is a 15 with 53% Promoters and 9% Passives.
The beer maker is still struggling to attract a younger audience and win over more females, who are shunning traditional lagers in favor of hard seltzer and spirits. It’s a challenge that has been exacerbated as the younger generation’s consumption of alcoholic beverages has increased dramatically in recent years. They also have more options for alcohol than older generations did, with many millennials opting for craft beers. But a more diverse set of drinkers could prove to be more profitable for Bud Light in the long run. The millennial demographic is more liberal than their older peers, and the brewer is aiming to expand its market in order to tap into it. That includes targeting more minority women. In addition to hiring more female employees, Bud Light is adding more women as the face of its campaigns. And it’s launching a new bottle design with a pink straw.