Bud Light’s Equality Meme; Smart Move or Shameless Self-Promotion?

Bud Light Meme

This image, recently posted on Bud Light’s Facebook page, is a variation of the Human Rights Campaign’s equal sign design that went viral earlier this week. The original striking red image flooded Facebook newsfeeds, made appearances on blogs, and took over all kinds of internet space to make a statement as the Supreme Court began its hearings on same sex marriage.

I happen to find the image offensive.

Now it’s important to make a disclosure before I continue; I personally support marriage equality – and I don’t care who knows it. If two people find love and they want to register for small kitchen appliances together, invite me to a big party with open bar and cake, and/or file joint tax returns – I’m totally down.

Cash bar however….

Just kidding. Anyway, you might be thinking “I’m confused, Liz. If you support marriage equality, why the beef with the Bud Light meme?”

Well, my biggest issue is that the beer cans used in the Bud Light image make it look like a bad Bud Light ad, shamelessly plugging product. Perhaps I’m being overly cynical but with the way too obvious branding, it strikes me as an attempt to follow the memes and take advantage of something that’s going viral.

I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Bud Light is actually a major sponsor of several Gay Pride festivals, and even hosted a Bud Boyz model contest at Chicago’s Pride festival last year. It’s nice to know that they’re putting some of their money where their memes are but I’m still not entirely sold on their motives.

Call me crazy (and stereotypical) but I feel like many people still opposed to gay marriage might just be loyal Bud Light drinkers. Maybe it was the following comment on their Facebook page that gave me that suspicion, “You guy can have gay marriage as long as its a gay man marring a gay woman. Anything else is wrong and against the Lords will””

That begs the question of whether or not Bud Light is really taking a stand? Do they really want to pass marriage equality laws or do they simply hope to profit by targeting the gay and lesbian market?

I’ll let you make your own decision because I fully support your right to do that – I just wanted to present some food for thought.


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