Organization Trends

Conservative Bud Light Strategy Takes Down Leftists with Their Own ‘Rules’

Companies shifted far left, so conservatives needed a strategy to rein in firms like Bud Light

The Bud Light boycott is a prime example of the right finally taking some cues from the radicalism of the left, and using those tactics to win. It’s about time.

Since at least the mid-2000s, conservatives – especially social conservatives – have been utterly befuddled at how to approach an increasingly socially liberal business world. Woke capitalism, driven by a combination of a consortium of left-wing nonprofits, ESG investing, and professional-class ideological dynamics, has driven a wedge between conservatives and their longtime allies in business.

. . .

. . . Big Labor funds the liberal nonprofit institutional complex, helped invent contemporary ESG investing, and marches in lockstep with the most fervently woke professional-class ideological dynamics. With the classical “three Bigs” of Big Labor, Big Government, and Big Business arrayed against them, no wonder other conservatives speak of a wholly united left-wing “Regime.”

But a funny thing happened on the way to the Regime: Bud Light lost nearly one-third of its market share after doing what the Regime wanted. The brand partnered with transgender TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney, and its now-benched marketing lead, Alissa Heinerscheid, vowed to end her predecessors’ “fratty, kind of out-of-touch humor” in favor of a younger, woke-er “campaign that’s truly inclusive.”

. . .

Conservatives boycotted, ordinary people joined in and made Bud Light a punchline, and now Anheuser-Busch almost literally gives Bud Light away. Bud’s rivals gained market share, to the point that the consumer shift now is putting strain on the beer supply chain.

How did it happen? Simple: Conservatives applied the Saul Alinsky rules favored by the left, even if they haven’t read him and didn’t know that’s what they were doing. Alinsky, a radical-left organizer favored by 1960s boomer counterculture agitators, famously wrote as one of his “Rules for Radicals”: “Pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

. . .

This has a positive and culturally significant effect beyond any lessons Anheuser-Busch might learn for the future. The possibility that Bud Light will not be alone – that the madmen might strike again and other products may suffer the same fate – can create general deterrence against brands, especially brands that are relevant to conservatives’ lives, taking political stands outside their core business.

Read the entire article, which originally appeared on on June 7, 2023. Excerpts reprinted with permission.

Michael Watson

Michael is Research Director for Capital Research Center and serves as the managing editor for InfluenceWatch. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, he previously worked for a…
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