Given the fact that this one Tweet has 2.5 million views and this story has dominated the news cycle for days now, you're no doubt aware of it. And how our culture is so fractured that America's most popular beer company aligned itself with a trans person in a marketing campaign is enough to split us apart like the San Andreas fault after Lex Luthor nuked it. But in case you're not up to speed - and if you're not, seriously how do you manage to stay so out of touch? I need to know your secret - here's a great rundown by Pat:
Let me add that I'm a Bud Light person. I prefer craft beers, but I can promise you that when I'm out with the guys I grew up with and we're at the Knights of Columbus watching a game, at a cookout or crushing beers after golf, the table is filled with Bud Light empties. Which we refer to as "dead soldiers." But I digress.
Let me also point out that Dylan Mulvaney is part of that tradition of American celebrity who is famous just for being famous. Like half the guests who used to go on talk shows and game shows when I was a kid, I have no earthly idea what Mulvaney does for a living. You can say "influencer," but I've seen the videos and the interviews and you'll have to forgive me if I've yet to feel influenced. I'm a big believer in the crazy, outdated idea that if you want to be an influencer, you need to do something ... wait for it ... influential. Write a book. End a war. Cure a disease. Or, of course, brew a great beer. Dylan Mulvaney is a famous trans person whose claim to fame is being a famous trans person. And good for Mulvaney for pulling that off. I mean, Regis Philbin had a longer TV career than anyone, despite not having a single marketable skill. He didn't sing, tell jokes, do impressions. He just was a professional celebrity, and made millions. As someone with no talent as well, I respect anyone who can accomplish that.
Where this all gets complicated though, is when the VP of a beer that has been the beer of choice for more people than any other brand, criticizes the very branding that got her company the lion's share of the marketplace. Especially if you're going to slap a pejorative label like "fratty" on your target demo. I didn't go to Harvard like Alissa Gordon Heinerscheid, but that just sounds to me like bad business. Like a company that sells bass boats complaining that their marketing is too "redneck", or Prius deciding they have to stop appealing to "smug, self-righteous douchebags."
And if you're going to practice self-loathing over your "fratty" branding, it's best to get your own house in order. Because while putting herself out there as the tip of the spear in this latest ridiculous battle in the Culture War, VP Heinerscheid left herself open to a flanking maneuver. It was inevitable that someone would look into her past and find some objectively, "fratty" behavior:
Source - The vice president of marketing at Bud Light … can be seen partaking in the same behavior she seemed to be criticizing during a Harvard social club event, recently leaked images show.
The Daily Caller obtained the photos from a source who had screenshots of the album on Alissa Gordon Heinerscheid’s Facebook page, which was titled “Isis Senior Reverse Initiation Scavenger Hunt.” In the album, there are photos of Heinerscheid drinking with others, and holding condoms up to their mouths. An article in the Harvard Crimson describes the club as a “haven of inebriated ditzes.”
To be clear, Alissa Gordon Heinersheid doesn't need to delete her Facebook or her photos, nor apologize to any of us for how she enjoyed herself at Harvard in 2006. Or ever. I was never a frat guy. But ye who did not partake in "fratty" behavior, let he or she cast the first stone. Nor have I ever drank out of any form of birth control. But I won't claim this party doesn't look like an absolute rager, frattiness in all. I'm not sure if the 'Isis" part refers to the terrorist group or not. But since I'm pretty sure I was at parties during the first Gulf War where the Beach Boys parody "Bomb Iran" was playing, I would have no objection if it did. And I don't think there's a man or woman among us who hasn't spetn some of most fun times in our lives in a "haven of inebriated ditzes."
But there comes a point when people who once lived in glass frat houses shouldn't throw stones. I'm sure there were plenty of people at the Isis Senior Reverse Initiation Scavenger Hunt keeping Heinersheid's future company in the black and their VP of marketing gainfully employed.
So yes, Pat was right. This is all ridiculous. And there's overreaction all over the place to go along with 17 year old mild hypocrisy. I just wish we could all go back to a time when beer marketing was some of the most enjoyable, funny, and unifying entertainment in American culture. And where we took nothing seriously.
I doubt we'll ever get back to those times. But let's keep hoping. Cheers.