Remember the Bud Light #Upforwhatever campaign? It rolled out with Ian in the Super Bowl 2014, where he was driven around in a Hummer limo and met a llama named Lily before playing ping pong with Arnold. By Super Bowl 2015 we had an unsuspecting bar hopper who accepts a Bud Light, then gets sucked into a real life Pac-Man game, where he is Pac-Man. Fun times! And weird. The kind of commercials that are more fun to be in, than to watch, but the idea is clear - Bud Light is the kind of beer you could drink when you're up for whatever, from backyard BBQ's to dancing all night at sweaty nightclubs, or just shooting the shit at your local with some friends. Bud light is the all occasions beer.
That is, until someone read the smallprint. And then read into the smallprint. The #Upforwhatever tag varies on the beer bottles, there's actually 140 different messages, one of them reads: "The Perfect beer for removing "No" from your vocabulary for the night."
Buzzfeed news reporter Rachel Zarrell wrote this article: People Are Saying Bud Light’s New Tagline Promotes Rape Culture - because of the link between intoxication and rape. This has been a sore spot since long before Camille Paglia doused the already inflamed debate in tequila in 1992 with "If someone gets behind the wheel of a car drunk and mows down three people, you wouldn't excuse him because he started whining that he didn't mean it".
What are some of the other lines? “The perfect beer for leaving your comfort zone in another time zone.” and “The perfect beer for taking off the blindfold and showing that piñata who’s boss.” Uhm... We can read into these lines too, if we try hard enough. I'm sure someone will find innuendo in “The perfect beer for tuning up the old air guitar.”
Buzzfeed got this statement from Anheuser-Busch:
The Bud Light Up for Whatever campaign, now in its second year, has inspired millions of consumers to engage with our brand in a positive and light-hearted way. In this spirit, we created more than 140 different scroll messages intended to encourage spontaneous fun. It’s clear that this message missed the mark, and we regret it. We would never condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior.
So, apologizing for the one line out of 140 lines that had the wrong tone of voice. Unlike True Fruits and Protein World, Bud Light are not interested in defending a line that could be misinterpreted, they're interested in being liked by everyone. We've come a long way baby, since the tagline "get yourself a Busch" was growled while the commercial visual showed a beer bottle flowing over beside a woman's bare midriff and her stylish "Busch" logo belt. (That's a Bill Hicks joke, y'all)