See Bud Light's Transgender Ad

'Beer Should Have Labels, Not People'

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Bud Light's socially progressive "Bud Light Party" campaign is tackling another hot-button issue: transgender rights. "Gender identity -- it's really a spectrum and we don't need these labels," Amy Schumer says in a new spot debuting today. Her campaign co-star Seth Rogen adds: "Beer should have labels, not people."

The ad follows recent Bud Light spots that have supported gay marriage and equal pay for women. "In our newest spot, Seth and Amy remind Americans that labels belong on beer, not people—a message Bud Light proudly supports," Alex Lambrecht, VP of Bud Light, said in a statement.

The campaign has drawn support from gay rights group GLAAD.

"When a brand like Bud Light shows support for the transgender community, it makes a difference," Nick Adams, GLAAD's director of transgender media, said in a statement. "Not only does it help bring more visibility to the trans community, it also inspires other companies to do more to show their support. This ad also includes out trans actor Ian Harvie, which puts a face on the trans community and gives a trans person the opportunity to appear in a high-profile spot like this one."

Alcohol brands have long lent support to the gay community, which is a key constituency for liquor and beer marketers. But expressing solidarity with transgender people is relatively new terrain -- even though Bud Light's spot is not unprecedented in the alcohol category.

Earlier this year Absolut vodka debuted an ad with a transgender storyline about how Dave became Darla.

Outside of the alcohol category, Nike has been running an ad during the Olympics featuring Chris Mosier, the first openly transgender athlete to compete on a U.S. men's national team.

Bud Light's politically themed campaign, which is by Wieden & Kennedy, New York, has taken a more whimsical approach. Spots featuring the two comedians Ms. Schumer and Mr. Rogen have used the mock political party "Bud Light Party" in an attempt to portray the brand as a beer for everyone.

While the campaign has garnered headlines, the ads have failed to produce sustained positive sales momentum. Bud Light sales fell by "low-single digits" in the second quarter as the brand continued to lose market share, according to Anheuser-Busch InBev's recent earnings report.

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