Frost Advisory #669 – A Lesson From Bud Light, And Target, And On And On

When I wrote Frost Advisory #661 – What Christian Radio Can Learn From… Bud Light, I didn’t imagine there could be other companies that would say, “Hey, that’s a good idea” and follow along.

Silly me.

I’m told that Anheuser-Busch has lost 27 billion dollars in value since Bud Light decided to feature a “trans-athlete” on a Bud Light bottle.

As unlikely an example to follow it seems that Target did just THAT. Yes, the brand that appeals directly to young moms and kids decided there was another agenda. You know the story. They knew implications of Bud Light’s decision. But anyway…

Silly me. The plot thickens.

Then, good grief of all things, “mom, apple pie, and baseball.”

Soon after, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence – a non-profit described as “anti-Catholic” that uses drag, fundraising and religious imagery – were welcomed to the team’s annual Pride Night. Not surprisingly, the chatter after the fact has been a bit bumpy for the Dodgers’ brand.

As I attempt to take my own advice of “stay in your lane.” I’ll refrain from the obvious moral and societal implications of such decisions and zone in on the impact on the brand.

In my view, each of these companies – Bud Light, Target, and the Los Angeles Dodgers – knowingly or unknowingly fundamentally changed their brand. Their brand means something totally different to the beer drinker, shopper, and baseball fan than it did a few weeks ago. I personally witnessed the Bud Light kiosk at a sold-out Minute Maid Park in Houston had no one standing in line while the other concession stands had long lines.

In other words, they willingly relinquished their brand’s values to other forces. Bad idea, I reckon’.

Funny how we in Christian radio can face similar, albeit different, influences. While the details of Bud Light’s decisions may not be the same as ours, we all face situations where we can put the priorities of those on the inside over those that we claim to serve.

I know of a station where those in administration were crafting liners and writing jingle lyrics without any consideration of the station’s competitive situation, research findings, or market dynamics. They were doing what they wanted to do, by golly.

I know of a station that created a category of music of songs “that listeners don’t like enough to play” because the boss liked them.

I know of a station that carried children’s programs or sermons because someone on the board wanted them on the air even though the listening levels dropped to almost nothing.

And on and on and on.

“We’re attracted to art when it stands for something we believe in, that shows us a reflection of our own values, gives us a glimpse of our own inner face.”

Roy Williams

John Frost

John has been a successful major market DJ and Program Director for such companies as CBS, Gannett, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Multimedia, and Sandusky and publishes the Frost Advisory.

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