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Why Bud Light Can’t Compete

Why Bud Light Can’t Compete
Bud Light is trying to get back into the mainstream after its transgender disaster.

Consumers don’t buy it

After Bud Light’s transgender misadventure when it teamed up with gay female impersonator Dylan Mulvaney, the Anheuser Busch brand has been trying to get back to its traditional customer base with ads like this, featuring normal-looking young people,

And this ill advisedshowing off their blue-collar customer base as a bunch of chumps.

The problem is that customers aren’t buying it (figuratively or literally). In part, this is the brand chastised for its previous embrace of degeneracy, but our friend Isaac Simpson, who runs the Los Angeles-based marketing agency. WILL, suggests that there is another cultural conflict at play: corporatism versus authenticity. It has the virtue of explaining why Bud Light hasn’t been able to climb out of the hole it’s dug itself with new ads: No one finds them authentic. Simpson wrote a piece expanding on this, which I’ve shared below. Before that though, a quick commercial update.

Trade Update: Under the Radar

With everyone focused on AI names today, some small businesses involved in the tangible economy have been quietly crushing it. Last week we made an options trade in one of them, a miner who is minting money, and we have trades in a couple more for this week. If you’d like a heads up when we post them, feel free to subscribe to our occasional/commercial substack email list below.

Now on to Isaac Simpson’s post on authentic versus corporate.

Written by Isaac Simpson, author of The Carousel and founder of the based marketing agency WILL

Welcome to the new counterculture
Anti-synthetic capitalism

There is authentic and there is corporate. Not politics. not moral Even aesthetics don’t make you a rebel these days. Today, the only differentiator between the mainstream and the counterculture is corporatism; whether you do or not. Like many countercultures, its milieu emerges from unexpected places: a new generation of young consumer packaged goods (CPG) capitalists—all corporate defectors—driving an ingredient rebellion.

See a subtle shift among this new generation of entrepreneurs, almost undetectable to anyone outside the cultural industries. Young elites are leaving hedge funds and private equity groups to found companies that directly oppose the industrial pipelines that dominate world trade.

These brands aren’t run-of-the-mill white-label social media products; hipster brand logos stuck on top of foreign products with the best deal. Nor are reactive “anti-wake” products like Black Rifle Coffee or Ultra Right Beer, who stick right-leaning slogans in the same underlying fodder.

Instead, this generation of products can be described as “anti-synthetic” or “pre-industrial”. The dissenting capitalists who found them intimately understand existing supply chains and how they are not concerned about the quality of the final product. Their products, by design, are things you can make yourself with simple ingredients. They refuse the complex chemicals cooked up in the last century and focus on simple and traditional products.

“21st century capitalism is profit first, product last,” says Seth Goldstein, an early investor in Ancient Crunch, the parent company of the seed oil-free blockbuster. TOO MUCH omelette chips. Goldstein calls himself an “anti-synthetic capitalist.” Earlier in his career, he was a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and led a prominent private equity group, where he learned that even “impact” capital has difficulty achieving desired goals because of the push for constantly reduce costs. Perhaps the best way a company can improve the world, he realized, is to prioritize its own products. “For me it is essential that the content is better than the packaging, both in the people I work with and in the products that fill our world. My new mission in life is to support things that build a real, healthy and beautiful society.”

David Sley, founder of Hestia cigarettes, the first FDA-approved cigarette brand in 15 years, is a similar type of class defector from mainstream finance. He also converted

obsessed with the notion of changing the culture not to fight capitalism, but to build a genuinely superior product in the most hated sector of all commerce. With legalized and corporatized marijuana, New York Post presented Sley as an icon because “with legalized marijuana, tobacco is Generation Z’s favorite taboo.” Despite being boring old business, it’s resonating with fashion culture: Graydon Carter’s post-Vanity Fair project Airmail profiled Sley as “The millennial Marlboro Man.”

Ultimately, these acts of capitalism are far more rebellious than anything coming out of the so-called left wing since Occupy Wall Street. Unlike AOC, they are real threats to the international network of corporate brands.

Cigarettes, which have effectively been nationalized through the Master Settlement Agreement and predatory tax schemes of local and federal governments, are the perfect example of a frozen, best-bidder supply chain that produces harmful products and it refuses to innovate, simply because it hasn’t. I had to.

Toxic seed oils are more widespread than unhealthy cigarettes. The anti-seed oil craze, which sparked left-of-center urbanites like Nina Teicholz, and later Malcolm Gladwell, who argued that estrogen-promoting soybean oil was in virtually every item of grocery store CPG, has consolidated. Supporters see themselves as dissident consumers reacting to out-of-stock companies that have bundled their offerings with extremely low-quality oils, some of which were originally developed as motor and paint lubricants in the oil As the seed oil companies (literally every major CPG brand) promote socially approved locales, they are poisoning us with every box and bag they send.

Anti-synthetic capitalists replace harmful ingredients, likely responsible for the massive increase in obesity and allergies, with traditional ingredients like beef tallow and eggshells. The founders say they want their products to be things you can do without industrial machines; you should be able to prepare them using only rudimentary tools around a fire. MASA Chips, for example, has only three ingredients: traditional masa harina, beef tallow and salt.

But making and distributing such simple products in today’s globalized world is much more difficult than it seems; it requires actively working against the economic status quo. That’s why “anti-synthetic capitalists” like Goldstein and Sley, alongside brands like MASA and Hestia, are seen not only as investors and founders, but as cultural figures. Meme accounts share memes about themselves. Art festivals proudly present their products. Lifestyle accounts known for cool vibes integrate their brands without paying. They have been covered by GQ and Airmail. This kind of coverage traditionally happens with fashion brands, sure, but when’s the last time you could say that about CPG? Never in the age of social media. This is why these founders are seen as true rebels, perhaps where avant-garde artists, now corporate and well-educated, are supposed to be.

“Rebellion and revolution is fundamentally an intergenerational conflict,” says Goldstein. “Rituals are definitely Schelling’s points for revolution, and one of the key rituals for boomers is their junk food. 20% of American calories today are from seed oils, meaning boomers are literally 1/5 seed oils by mass.” Anti-synthetic brands are the same kind of backlash as “Ok Boomer”, only the capitalist version.

Many other brands are waging similar battles, with varying degrees of cultural adherence.

Of the man rethink toiletries with healthier ingredients like eggshells and tallow. It’s become a huge hit with the new anti-establishment crowd, despite its trademark hippie vibes. Farrow uses ultra-healthy lard as a skin care product. Tops and company offers skin products made with tallow and olive oil. Modern Mammals is advertised with the slogan Shampoo is a Hoax; they make shampoo bars that don’t lather (although they still rely on chemical ingredients). Soonish beer—also founded by a defector from high finance—rethinks light beer, using a mix of bananas and honey. Rizal makes traditional “barefoot” shoes that exist completely outside of normal supply chains: “The Earth has a natural charge that your ancestors were in sync with 24 hours a day. When you spend all day indoors or wear shoes with a rubber sole, you almost never land (in sync with the load of the earth).

Unlike the hippie and hipster brands of the past, like Patagonia or craft beer companies, who hijacked “whole earth” and DIY vibes, respectively, to optimize their marketing while crafting their products with ingredients corporate (see cheap), these new companies. they are building a new earthiness in the products themselves.

That’s why they traffic in earthly metaphors (variations on the themes of “based” and “found”, necessarily composed of pre-industrial ingredients and materials). While the notion of “whole foods” is nothing new, the Boomer versions of these products have been completely hollowed out by the index funds, consulting groups, private equity groups, hedge funds, and development banks that dominate the global supply chain: A perfect example is perhaps Whole Foods itself, where you have to spend hours looking at labels to avoid seed oils.

So, in a way, what this new crop of entrepreneurs is doing is bringing the naïve hippie dream to reality. fruition, by creating products that are, by design, decentralized and deceptively simple. When you create something this simple, you give people back the power to monitor and understand their health in a way that connects with environment and re-emphasise the genuine quality of the product itself; not just its packaging.

Contributor posts published on Zero Hedge do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Zero Hedge, and are not selected, edited or reviewed by Zero Hedge editors.

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