Guys, this is perhaps the most Not the Bee moment in the history of Not the Bee.
The advertising agency at Anheuser-Busch, the very folks who teamed up with Dylan Mulvaney and tanked the most popular beer brand in America, just received the most prestigious award in all of advertising at the Cannes Lions Festival in France.
Yes, the company that fumbled its marketing so badly that it lost the title of the best-selling beer that it had held for more than a decade, received a MAJOR award, one of the most coveted in the world of advertising.
In the wake of that controversy, across the Atlantic on Monday, AB InBev's global chief marketing officer, Marcel Marcondes, took to the Cannes Lions' main stage to give the event's opening seminar. The session was described in programming notes as a talk in part about AB InBev's "relentless focus on connecting with consumers in meaningful ways." Marcondes also touched briefly on the Bud Light situation stateside.
The most famous botched advertisement campaign, possibly in the entire history of marketing, were honored by the elites for their efforts in tanking the company.
But the brand's owner, Anheuser-Busch InBev, was here at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity — a lavish annual gathering in the south of France, often called the Oscars of the ad industry — collecting one of the event's highest honors: Creative Marketer of the Year.
I guess finding a way to take the most innocuous and ubiquitous brands in the history of the world and make it so toxic that sales drop by 25% is "creative."
That's one word for it.
Cannes Lions honored AB InBev as Creative Marketer of the Year during the 2022 festival as well, making this summer's repeat honor the first consecutive such win by any company, organizers said...
"The award recognises AB InBev's sustained creative excellence that has driven sustainable business growth — as well as their body of Lion-winning work amassed over a sustained period of time, and reputation for producing brave creative and innovative marketing solutions," Cannes Lions said in a statement released in March.
It's like they're in complete and total denial of just how awful Bud Light's debacle is.
They don't care.
It's about rewarding fealty to the narrative, even if it costs the company money.