Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Budweiser beer has become an afterthought among young consumers: according to Budweiser’s parent company Anheuser-Busch, some 44% of 21 to 27-year-old drinkers have never tried Budweiser (an obvious dilemma for the brand).
It wasn’t this statistic that had Internet users in a craze last week, however. Soon after the report was released, one of the trending topics on Facebook was the outcry over the fact that Budweiser would be ditching their nostalgic clydesdale advertisements for promotions aimed at 21 to 27-year-olds. The Wall Street Journal reported that Budweiser would not be trotting out its traditional Clydesdales during the holiday season this year, but instead feature more “current” tactics (which somehow transformed into a rumor that the horses were being replaced by Jay-Z and zombies).
The rumors weren’t taken lightly – people were outraged that Budweiser would take away the beloved clydesdale commercials. Even the millennials couldn’t stand the thought of zombies and rappers taking the place of the classic Budweiser Clydesdales. How DARE you take the horses out of a commercial for a beer we don’t drink.
The next day, however, Time.com published an article saying that the clydesdales are here to stay (and we can all breath a sigh of relief). The VP of the company said in a statement that “The Budweiser Clydesdales are here to stay and will continue to play a central role in our campaigns, including holidays and Super Bowl.” In fact, the company just released a new holiday ad featuring both millennials and clydesdales. What a great time to be alive.
It’s interesting that there was enough uproar over these rumors (about an advertising campaign, of all things) that it would be a trending topic on Facebook – and that hundreds of news organizations, bloggers, and websites picked up the story, apparently without fact-checking at all. And still, if the millennials aren’t drinking Budweiser, are the ads really working?