Budweiser shows us the future of American society

Summary: Budweiser’s new advertising campaign will certainly win awards from the social justice warriors that dominate the marketing industry. Rightly so, as it (inadvertently) points to one of the biggest of the many momentous changes in American society.

Beautiful young woman sitting alone close to window with rain drops. Sexy and sad girl. Concept of loneliness
ID 79388949 © Sergii Vorobiov | Dreamstime.

Budweiser modernizes its old sexist ads for Women’s Day Campaign
by E. J. Schultz at AdAge.

When it comes to objectifying women, the beer industry historically has been among the worst offenders. Ads often used barely clothed women to pitch light beer or portrayed women as nothing more than servants to their beer-swilling husbands. Things have gotten a lot better in recent years, with most big brands realizing that the tactics are not only offensive, but no longer work, as most modern women and men expect brands to be a lot more progressive. With a new campaign, Budweiser nods to that inglorious past to make a point about its future. The campaign, released today in conjunction with International Women’s Day, features full-page color ads in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times that juxtapose sexist Bud print ads from the 1950s and 60s with updated versions portraying women in empowered roles.

Of course the ads run the risk of reminding viewers that Bud, if you go back far enough, fed into negative stereotypes about women. But “for us, it’s all about using our past to really serve as a launch pad showing women in a more balanced fashion,” Budweiser VP for marketing Monica Rustgi says. As part of the effort, Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned Budweiser is publicizing the fact that women now comprise more than 80% of the brand’s marketing team. …

The agency and Anheuser-Busch InBev hired three female artists to handle the modernized print ads …. As part of the campaign, Budweiser announced it is joining the Association of National Advertisers’ “#SeeHer” effort, which aims for a more accurate portrayal of women in media and advertising. Rustgi confirmed that the brand will begin running its ads through the ANA-backed Gender Equality Measure testing …{to} score ads on how prominently they depict women.


Most of the new ads run with the “you can have it all theme”, because good propaganda never goes out of style. But one strikes a realistic note, pointing to the post-marriage era now beginning.

Budweiser ads - in the 1950s and now
1962 & today. Budweiser Intern’l Women’s Day Chicago ad Credit: Anheuser Busch InBev.

The left advert shows grandmother’s life in the 1962 under the patriarchy. At 35, the middle class wife shown probably had a husband, children, and a house. The right advert shows her descendent’s life in the feminist 2020s. She will have a career as an assistant accountant or AVP at mega-corp (there are only a few spots at the top), live in a rental, have a double-digits number of “partners” (with the spiritual scars from the breakups) – and face the “wall” at which even pickups become difficult.

This is a tragedy in slow motion. So far intensive propaganda has concealed it, but I doubt that this can’t work for much longer.

I feel sorry for these women. The young men I know, living on the streets of this new world, feel no mercy for them.

“Marriage may well shrink significantly – I think it will – but it will not disappear.”
–– This counts as optimism today (it “won’t disappear”). By sociologist Mark Regnerus in Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, based on a vast body of surveys and interviews.

Another perspective

What fraction of Budweiser’s customers are women? Will these ads gain enough new sales from women to offset sales from men? This is the same question raised by the thematic shifts by Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars.

Perhaps that does not matter. The megacorps that dominate our economy act in concert, providing echoes – not choices. So they can focus on other issues, such as joining the great crusade to reshape American society. For example, Disney has an almost 30% market share in US films; the top three have a 55% share. Within limits, they need not care what we think.

For More Information

Hat tip on this to Dalrock. See his analysis of it here.

Ideas! For shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about Reforming America: steps to new politics, about marriage, and especially these …

  1. Marriage today – and its dystopian future.
  2. A look at America’s future after marriage becomes rare.
  3. Misadventures of a young woman in modern America.
  4. The disastrous results of trying to “have it all”.
  5. The coming crash as men and women go their own way.
  6. The coming crash of marriage: why, and what’s next.
  7. Millennial girls had a golden age. Gen Z’s inherit wreckage.
  8. Tucker Carlson says unmentionable things about marriage.

Two major books about modern marriage

The classic: Men and Marriage by George Gilder.

Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters by Helen Smith.

Men and Marriage
Available at Amazon.
Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why It Matters
Available at Amazon.

13 thoughts on “Budweiser shows us the future of American society”

  1. Larry Kummer, Editor

    Modern advertisements are difficult to analyze (for me, at least)

    Who is the target market for this advertisement of a Cadillac SRX (2013)? What story does it tell? What does it tell about us?

  2. Larry Kummer, Editor

    This one is easy, I think. It features a hot girl, heavily made up – but she is brilliant and masterful (so it’s not sexist).

    The “Hoot Camp” TV Commercial “Pour”, featuring Coach Jon Gruden of the Oakland Raiders.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      “Both ads are ridiculous”

      Thank you for sharing. However, your comment would be more useful if you explained why both are “ridiculous.”

      1. I think all these and similar ads are ridiculous. Why? For the complete lack of substance. Playing on feeling well (good) rather than stressing what in particular would bear an advantage for brand X over the rest of alphabet — isn’t this an epitome of the whole American system of “main-stream communication?” I don’t watch TV nor do I read any newspapers, most magazines etc. Fortunately, there are no ads in books (yet); and there are efficient applications to kill ads on most of web-sites.

        As for the “progress” of the change of gender interaction, politics and all?
        Pendulum — some time ago a KKK was acceptable, today being white male is regarded, by some, as handicap. I don’t propose to wait until the pendulum swings back to the other side, but there’s not much one can do to stop it in its motion through the equilibrium point (the highest velocity;) One thing we MUST NOT DO is accellerate it after the direction reversal. Well it seems contra productive, but that’s why we got so far into this end…

      2. Larry Kummer, Editor


        “For the complete lack of substance.”

        That’s not how effective advertisements work. It’s not my field, but I worked with some of the best in that business while in the investment business (I had an office in the top floor of WTC2; fortunately I left NYC before 9/11).

        A 15 or 30 second ad cannot effectively convey information. Nor can a one page glossy ad. Nor are people easily reachable using data. Ads appeal to our emotions, often below the level of our awareness. People mock ads (which pros find quite funny). The best of them work quite well. Companies have been built on successful marketing campaigns.

      3. Larry,

        I was hoping you’d comment on the pendulum parable.

        I’m a lifelong subscriber to Consumer Reports (no ads;) and I don’t care about ads at all (except the pharma ads, which, me thinks, should be made illegal — ask me why).
        Same as here, on FM, I don’t agree with all the CR are saying or claiming, but I concur in principle.

        Marketing is one of the institutions which brought us to this “bifurcation point” — see Dr. Immanuel Wallerstein analysis and prognosis.

      4. Larry Kummer, Editor


        “I was hoping you’d comment on the pendulum parable.”

        Tomorrow’s post discusses that. The West has not been in a cycle – pendulum – for centuries, since we discovered the mixture of social dynamics and science called modernity. It’s been one “miracle” after another. New energy sources, new forms of government, new forms of communication, new concepts of Rights, nukes, fundamentally changing the nature of war, contraceptives fundamentally change gender roles, etc etc.

        On top of that, the rapid rate of change is destabilizing us, as individuals and a society (what Heinlein predicted as the “crazy years”).

        Little of this is new (except for a fe things, such as nukes, contraceptives). But the combination and speed of these changes has no precedent. Think of the social changes and tech changes in the paleolithic period – fire, the bag, stone weapons, bow & arrow, art – but in two generations, not 2 million years.

  3. ” At 35, the middle class wife shown probably had a husband, children, and a house. The right advert shows her descendent’s life in the feminist 2020s. She will have a career as an assistant accountant or AVP at mega-corp (there are only a few spots at the top), live in a rental, have a double-digits number of “partners” (with the spiritual scars from the breakups) – and face the “wall” at which even pickups become difficult.”

    maybe these are the guys of the past with umbrellas (husbands / families that could have been), after 35 what substitutes these, alcohol, travel the luxury car?

  4. Women I know are not going to Budwiser , they are going to craft beers, in Brew pubs. For some they like the taste better, for others it is too show off their affluence.

    In the marketing industry, it is called FEM. female empowerment marketing. Remember when feminism was used to get women to smoke? Same thing.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      Craft beers are a niche market: 23% of US beer sales by dollars, but only 13% by volume. See the data for 2017.

      Looking at that by gender: craft beer drinkers are mostly men, but crafts are adding consumers equal rates among men and women (2018 data).

      “Taking the broad, ‘at least several times a year’ view, craft drinkers are 31.5% female and 68.5% male in 2018 (source: Nielsen Harris on Demand). …from 2015 to 2018, craft has added ~14.7 million drinkers, of which a bit below half (~6.6M) were women. If that data is correct, craft is now onboarding men and women into the category at roughly their percentages in the population.”

  5. Negative stereotypes of women, oh no! I don’t see much advertising, but the snatches that I do see make me hate the companies that buy it. It might not be the deciding factor in whether I buy an item or not, bit it is a factor. I’m never buying Gillette again, and I’ve used their products for more than fifty years.

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