IS THE SOCIAL SPHERE TOO SENSITIVE?
Am I the only person not super offended by the recent controversy of Bud Light’s #UpForWhatever mishap?
Bud Light recently unveiled the next part of their #UpForWhatever campaign that includes cheeky slogans on their beer bottles. One of them includes the quote “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.” – and that has caused a bit of an uproar on social media. Enough of an uproar for the brand to stop the presses and hope to stop the press.
I feel like I need to stop right here and say I, in no way, condone rape culture. I am a strong believer in having a voice and being heard, so I don’t think that “no” should ever be actually removed from anyones vocabulary. “No” might truly be my favorite word, and I know for a fact it was my first.
I do, however, think that as a society we have become overly sensitive and offended by everything. There is no actual line drawn to say what is okay or not okay to joke about. If you watch SNL any given week, you are bound to hear some jokes that will inevitably offend someone, but they go on regardless – because it is meant to be light. When did we start taking everything so literally? Nike has been telling us to “Just Do It” for years.
The #UpForWhatever campaign is supposed to encourage people to be open to new opportunities or adventures in life, instead of immediately saying “no” as they might normally. Kind of a modern interpretation of “The Road Less Traveled.” We’ve heard people say “I’m up for anything” and “I’ll try anything once” forever – and usually admired them for having that “American pioneer” spirit. Look, I hardly even like Bud Light, but I can’t believe this line was intended to connect to anything like rape. I would like to believe that there is no way Bud Light execs are that unintelligent.
Of cours, one could argue that Bud Light knew exactly what they were doing when they printed these labels. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?
As mentioned earlier, Bud Light has bowed to social pressure by stopping the printing of this quote on labels. They have also issued an apology. And maybe that was the right thing to do, the right response to what they heard their audience saying. Ironically, they told people to stop saying no – and then when people said no to their campaign, they stopped their campaign.
That’s the power of social media today. If you find something to be personally offensive, you should get out there, share your opinion, and do what you think is right. No always means no, but sometimes a joke is just a joke. It’s up to brands to see how much weight they give the socialsphere.
~ Samantha Banner, Account Coordinator, The S3 Agency