business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The beer may be light, but the attitude certainly has some weight.

In the latest commercial for Bud Light featuring Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen - part of an ongoing series of ads - the comic duo gets into a discussion not about the taste of the beer, but about the gender pay gap. While maintaining that women have to pay more for things like dry cleaning and shampoo, Schumer does point out that "Bud Light costs the same no matter if you're a dude or a lady."

The willingness to take on serious topics within the framework of a humorous ad for beer seems to be a hallmark of the new campaign. The last commercial featuring Rogen and Schumer celebrated gay marriage.

Now, I have no idea if the campaigns were conceived before Schumer and Rogen were hired ... or whether the cost of getting two highly popular young stars to sign on for the campaign was to be willing to support such causes. Either way, it doesn't matter because the result is the same.

While things like gender pay gaps and gay marriage can be seen as controversial by some, some would argue - and I would be one of those people - that 10, 15 and 20 years from now, people will wonder what all the fuss was all about. That would seem to be the audience that Bud Light is targeting, and the consumer to whom the brand wants to be relevant.

They have to do something. The mainstream beer business has been suffering of late, with craft beers gaining greater popularity. (To be honest, as I worked on this story last night, I wasn't drinking a Bud Light. I was sipping on a Full Sail Amber. Which is part of the problem.)

But, I think Bud is doing what it has to do, and the work is an Eye-Opener.

KC's View: