Back in the late '90s, Bud Light rolled out its iconic "Real Men of Genius" marketing campaign, comedically praising overlooked men with funny professions or humorous characteristics, like pro-wresting costume designers or dudes who rock ill-fitting toupees.
These days, the beer brand is settling for men who...well, don't even think they're men.
Anheuser-Busch is defending its partnership with a mentally ill man who dresses like a girl as their newest Bud Light spokesperson, saying the collaboration will help the beer company “authentically connect” with its audience and consumers. Because nothing says “I’m just like you” than slapping the foundation-slathered face of a man wearing fake eyelashes and lipgloss on a can of swill mostly downed by dudes.
The internet ignited with mockery and disgust earlier this week over trans TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney boasting about being the new face of Bud Light while perpetuating the stereotype that women are too flighty to know what sports are.
"I kept hearing about this thing called 'March Madness.' And I thought we were all just having a hectic month - but it turns out, it has something to do with sports," a heavily-styled Mulvaney performs for the camera. "And I'm not sure exactly which sport, but either way, it's a cause to celebrate!"
Mulvaney then holds up a Bud Light can emblazoned with his face as a commemorative token.
"This month, I celebrated my 365th day of womanhood, and Bud Light sent me possibly the best gift ever: a can with my face on it!" he says.
Despite clear and swift public revulsion, Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light’s parent company, came out in support of the move anyway.
"Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics and passion points,” the company said in a statement. “From time to time, we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney. This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public.”
Probably because they know guys tossing back 6-packs while watching March Madness don’t want the grinning mug of a man wearing girl’s clothing staring right back at them.