On social media, the phrase “no good deed goes unpunished” often sounds true. That was certainly the case with Anheuser-Busch, the country’s leading brewery, which announced Wednesday that it was working with the White House to help meet President Joe Biden’s goal of encouraging as many Americans as possible to get vaccinated against Covid-19 by July Fourth.
That included “the largest beer sharing in history,” the company said.
“At Anheuser-Busch, we are committed to supporting the safe and strong recovery of our nation and we will be able to be together again in the places and with the people we missed so much. This commitment includes encouraging Americans to get vaccinated, and we are excited to buy Americans over 21 the year we reach the White House goal, ” said Michel Doukeris, CEO of Anheuser-Busch in a statement.
“We are proud to be stepping up both in times of need and in times of great celebration, and the past year has not been any different,” Doukeris added. “As we look to brighter days with renewed optimism, we are proud to work with the White House to have a significant impact on our country, our communities and our consumers.”
According to official rules, candidates over the age of 21 “will simply send their picture to their favorite beer spot” on MyCooler.com/Beer to log in to get a $ 5 digital subscription card that can be used to purchase their free drink. Sharing is limited to the first 200,000 people.
From the official Twitter account (@AnheuserBusch), the company also promoted the campaign and announced: “We are partnering with @WhiteHouse to fight #COVID. And we do it the best way we know how: bringing everyone together over a beer mug. Our biggest gifts ever will be unlocked when we reach the vaccination target by 4. 7. 21. #LetsGrabABeer https://bit.ly/3i7zCE9 “
Anheuser-Busch is far from the only company offering a free service to those who have been given the vaccine, and on social media they brag about those efforts.
Dan Primack (@danprimack), business editor at Axios, asked, “So if you get vaccinated, you can now get free Budweiser donuts, Krispy Creams and a chance to win the lottery. Pretty sure that means you hate America if you don’t get vaccinated se. “
“Budweiser gives free beer and Krispy Cream gives free donuts. Thanks to my vaccine, I can finally live my life dream of becoming one of the McKenzie brothers. Fly away, ha!”, Wrote @_BenMonroe.
However, quite a few users with the campaign came out of the door. This was probably not the answer Anheuser-Busch could have expected.
Among those who invited the promotion was Jeff Fryer (@JeffFryer), who regularly posts tweets about B2B marketing and technology. He remarked, “I’d love #LetsGrabABeer, but it doesn’t qualify. It doesn’t seem like ‘We’re going to buy everything (mugs of beer) to celebrate’ if you intentionally leave out 20% of the country. What will you do for California or Texas because they’re not covered by this award promotion, @AnheuserBusch? “
A third had fun at the company and called the quality of the beer. @ SJB11SJB wrote, “I thought people could already get free glasses of water at any facility.”
“Why would I want a free beer that tastes like urine,” @ fsteele10 thought.
Even those who supported vaccination had fun with the brand.
“Idc if it’s a bad beer. I’ll drink Budweiser for the next few months,” @TioSamSays wrote.
Obed Manuel (@obedmanuel) from CPRNews also joked: “I’ll even drink Budweiser if we can get to 70% …”
However, some users did not joke, but expressed distrust of vaccines and called on Anheuser-Busch to support the White House’s efforts.
“You think injecting an experimental vaccine that caused a record number of side effects and deaths is worth a beer? You can keep your beer, and I could just switch brands now. So tired of being pushed at every turn,” he remarked. @ dsd360.
Coping with the reaction
The problem with promoting any product through social media is that the audience is a great platform to broadcast, but they can respond in a way that the brand can’t control. As the tweets noted on Wednesday, many were quick to voice their concerns or share their mockery as well as those who did offer support for the promotion.
“In the age of social media, everything is studied like never before,” warned futurist and brand strategist Scott Steinberg. “Brands need to pay attention to what they say, especially because it can have legal consequences – like a place where promotion is worth it. It may seem like splitting hair, but it’s much more challenging when corporations are involved.”
It also means ensuring that those who cannot participate do not try to destroy it for everyone.
“As for promotions, especially those that include alcoholic products, the rules can be quite Byzantine and not so easy to navigate,” Steinberg explained. “That means there could be very dissatisfied consumers who express frustration because they can’t participate.”
Then the almost inevitable reaction must be resolved. This will certainly be the case with something as controversial as the new coronavirus vaccine.
“Everyone is doing their part of the vaccination, but those who oppose it will never see it and will certainly tweet about it,” Steinberg added. “Everything that makes Americans fall out and help us get back to the semi-normal say ‘cheers for it.'”