The New York Post reported this week that the marketing firm responsible for Bud Light’s disastrous partnership with transgender “influencer” Dylan Mulvaney went into “serious panic mode” after customers rebelled against the brand.
Captiv8, a firm based in San Mateo, California, works to pair major consumer brands with various social media influencers. In this capacity, it was Captiv8 that brokered the deal between Mulvaney and Bud Light.
A source close to the matter told the Post that the pairing was such a disaster, it has “become a textbook case of marketing gone wrong.”
The source said the initial blowback which began in early April caused confusion and anxiety within the firm, with employees worrying that the firm may get dragged into the controversy as well.
The Post could not confirm if Captiv8 was also behind the move to place Mulvaney’s dolled-up face on Bud Light cans or if it played a direct role in the creation of Mulvaney’s TikTok video promoting Bud Light.
Captiv8 was founded in 2015 and since that time, has worked with American Express, KraftHeinz, Twitter, and Walmart.
The marketing firm boasts a database of over 1 million social media influencers that it can pair with corporate brands.
Its co-founder is Silicon Valley investor Krishna Subramanian. In 2007, Subramanian sold BlueLithium to Yahoo for $300 million. Since founding Captiv8, he has become a go-to “expert” on “influencer” marketing.
On Tuesday, the New York Post reported that Bud Light sales plummetted 23.9 percent during the week ending on May 27, a slight improvement over the previous week when sales dropped 25.7 percent.
Consultant Bump Williams told the Post that the slight improvement in Bud Light’s sales slump could indicate that “the bottom has been hit” and sales might begin turning around.
Experts suspect that Anheuser-Busch offering a $15 rebate on 18-packs before the Memorial Day weekend may have been the reason sales boosted that week.