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Budweiser Adapts Its Sexist Ads From The 50s And 60s To 2019
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Advertising3 years ago

Budweiser Adapts Its Sexist Ads From The 50s And 60s To 2019

This year, in honor of International Women’s Day, Budweiser revisited three of their beer ads from the ’50s and ’60s that they are not exactly proud of. The outdated ads portrayed objectified women in a subservient role to their husbands. But media and advertising was only a reflection of the world we lived in. Although today’s reality is not perfect, we’ve come a long way in the battle with gender stereotypes and sexism, and Budweiser took an opportunity to celebrate this and course-correct its company policy by modernizing it and showcasing gender balance and women’s empowerment.

It might be difficult to imagine for younger generations, but back in the 1950s, women conformed to clear gender roles. Popular culture, vintage ads, and mass media were only reinforcing the messages of traditional ideals with patterns of repression and sexualization of women by men. We still notice the result of that in many third-world countries and more conservative households, and it affects the self-confidence of women around the world.

More info: budweiser.com

1956

Image credits: Budweiser

2019

Image credits: Budweiser

A diligent wife and mother who takes care of the household and supports the hardworking husband unconditionally – was a classic example of a stereotypically perfect woman in the 1950s. This image was reflected in many sexist ads, which always placed men at the forefront. A masculine brand like Budweiser was no exception.

However, the brand was serious about making up for those vintage advertisements – revamped versions of the ads now unbiasedly adapt to a modern woman who lives in a well-balanced relationship and takes time to relax and enjoy herself. Although the Budweiser ads have the same colorful vintage aesthetic, updated versions are free of sexist messages and assigned roles.

1958

Image credits: Budweiser

2019

Image credits: Budweiser

A slogan on an old ad from 1956 which reads, “She found she married two men” is replaced with an empowering one: “She found she has it all.” Another reprinted ad from 1958 shows a couple enjoying pizza and beer together and reads, “Home is where life happens, and life happens when you build it together,” while the original depicts a woman serving a beer to her working husband. The last updated ad from 1960, where a woman had just prepared dinner for her husband and served him a beer, now shows the same woman enjoying her evening and reads, “It’s Friday, your favorite takeout just got here. Crack open a cold Bud and enjoy some time to yourself.”

1962

Image credits: Budweiser

2019

Image credits: Budweiser

The campaign is a part of a long-term partnership with the Association of National Advertisers’ “#SeeHer” initiative, which aims to improve how women are portrayed across all media and advertising. There is definitely more diversity, accuracy, and respect in the portrayal of women comparing to the mid-twentieth century, but according to #SeeHer data Budweiser includes into the campaign ads, only 61 % of ads positively portray women.

The brewery brand collaborated with VaynerMedia agency on the implementation of the idea. The campaign’s creative was run by three women illustrators Heather Landis, Nicole Evans and Dena cooper with the goal of representing one theme: independence, equality and fulfillment.

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Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
3 years ago (edited)

They did a good job not going too far to the other end / just reversing the roles. The ads don’t depend on marriage or family to show a woman enjoying a Budweiser. They let her either stand on her own or be an equal member in a partnership. Although I do think the 1962 ad is still sweet and relatable in the context of a woman who isn’t subservient, and just wanted to cook a nice meal for her spouse. But I know the original intent wasn’t so innocent. Didnt Bud quickly change directions from housewives in the 60’s to bikini girls in the 90’s? Maybe they should revisit those too. Edited to add: Either way, Bud is undrinkable garbage.

W. 5
Community Member
3 years ago

What has a Bud in common with lovemaking in a canoe?

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Dr. Carlos Dangercat
Community Member
3 years ago

I like the idea but unfortunately the redone illustrations just look kinda amateurish next to the originals. They don't nail the 1950s illustration style but they don't look modern either. The last two particularly seem to have some issues with basic scale and perspective. And the new poses lack the genius of the original art to draw the viewers in and focus their attention. (The Mad Men era of advertising was the first to lay out these visual principles as a science.) I want the modern illustrations to be as vibrant and interesting as the originals. Instead they're kind of boring.

Susan Forbes
Community Member
3 years ago

The one with the couple and the moving boxes has them with strangely small feet

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Broken Bay
Community Member
3 years ago

It's an interesting idea, but it sounds like their real message is that beer is not just for men, it's for everyone, because they want to sell more beer.

Bianca Roxas
Community Member
3 years ago

At least while they're trying to put food on the table, they're spreading more updated ideas.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
3 years ago (edited)

They did a good job not going too far to the other end / just reversing the roles. The ads don’t depend on marriage or family to show a woman enjoying a Budweiser. They let her either stand on her own or be an equal member in a partnership. Although I do think the 1962 ad is still sweet and relatable in the context of a woman who isn’t subservient, and just wanted to cook a nice meal for her spouse. But I know the original intent wasn’t so innocent. Didnt Bud quickly change directions from housewives in the 60’s to bikini girls in the 90’s? Maybe they should revisit those too. Edited to add: Either way, Bud is undrinkable garbage.

W. 5
Community Member
3 years ago

What has a Bud in common with lovemaking in a canoe?

Load More Replies...
Dr. Carlos Dangercat
Community Member
3 years ago

I like the idea but unfortunately the redone illustrations just look kinda amateurish next to the originals. They don't nail the 1950s illustration style but they don't look modern either. The last two particularly seem to have some issues with basic scale and perspective. And the new poses lack the genius of the original art to draw the viewers in and focus their attention. (The Mad Men era of advertising was the first to lay out these visual principles as a science.) I want the modern illustrations to be as vibrant and interesting as the originals. Instead they're kind of boring.

Susan Forbes
Community Member
3 years ago

The one with the couple and the moving boxes has them with strangely small feet

Load More Replies...
Broken Bay
Community Member
3 years ago

It's an interesting idea, but it sounds like their real message is that beer is not just for men, it's for everyone, because they want to sell more beer.

Bianca Roxas
Community Member
3 years ago

At least while they're trying to put food on the table, they're spreading more updated ideas.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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