Source: Budweiser UK social media account

 

In an attempt at corporate signaling Budweiser really should just wave the white flag.

In the latest bout of corporate virtue signaling Budweiser UK has come out with ads showing its support for Pride Month. While the effort itself is not a surprise, as numerous companies are showing their support in June, the manner in which the beer maker goes about it is…curious.

It almost seems that Bud attempted to make the proper stance with the Pride demographic, but then it ran into a familiar challenge within that community: the Inclusion Paradox. There are tripwires when signaling properly here, because you may actually end up offending subgroups by not acknowledging them in a fashion they deem appropriate.

Just look at what happened as the brewer attempted to go above and beyond in recognizing those prideful sectors.

As one who is unclear on all of the machinations behind these movements, I believe this to be a nod to the intersectionalists in the pride community? But then Budweiser found itself in a quandary; what if they did not go far enough in recognizing the vital groups in the movement? After all, it seems like every week they add another sector to the LGBTQIA-califragilistic-expialidocious community.

Just as you can imagine the young marketing executive looking smug after drawing up that newly inclusive flag panic may have set in. What if they had forgotten to include another facet?! Then the beer producer could appear insensitive! Quick, fire off another addition to the flag!

There, that should cover things nicely! But wait, there are numerous other genders out there to consider! What if we forget to note those who identify otherly?! Back to the graphics design board…

As Budweiser fell into the vortex of signaling-propriety you have suddenly gotten to a point where this flag will either have stripes that are a millimeter wide, or the flag itself will need to be six feet in length.

And then it just continued, as the brewer’s marketing team clearly was foundering, and their attempt to look proper was now spiraling out of control.

and…

By now there are blatant problems. We have used black for three different identifiers, and we are up to at least four shades of blue. By now the Pride Flag is beginning to resemble the paint chip display board at the Home Depot.

But we are not yet finished.

And then we get so far down this rabbit hole that we have to dispense with stripes entirely. The groups have become so fractured as to require colored shapes.

By this point I just want to fly the amber-colored flag — to signify my choice…of bourbon.

I have no idea what Budweiser is even acknowledging anymore, but I hope they are proud of their attempt at pandering.