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Company: Anheuser-Busch Cos.
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: Bud Light
Ad Title: Ladies Night - Don Rickles
Business Category: Alcoholic Beverages
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United States
Region: North America
Agency: DDB Needham Worldwide
Year: 1997
Target: Mainstream
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Theme(s)

Camp/Gay Drag

Dude Looks Like a Lady

Deceptive/Scary Trans

GLBT Punch Line

Theme Breakdown

AdRespect Score: 
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Three young guys at a club chat about their friend (comedian Don Rickles). "He thinks he can meet that girl," says one.

Shoving a guy out of the way to get into position at the bar, Rickles approaches the woman from behind and his eyes bulge as he anticipates meeting this full-bodied gal. His friends lean forward to watch from afar.

"Hi cupcake," he says to her. "What do you say I buy you a Bud Light and you appreciate it?"

She turns and it's one of the "ladies," with a mustache and hairy chest, from the ongoing Bud Light campaign. Rickles' face turns to horror and the watching friends slam backwards in the couch as they see this.

In closing, Rickles is now painfully dancing with the woman he's just picked up. His friends mockingly say, "Nicely done...fun to watch."

This Bud ad is more of a parody of transgendered persons than others in the campaign, which are more innocent and don't have people wincing at their presence.

Anheuser-Busch, along with Miller Brewing Co., have the distinction of being among the few companies that advertise in gay media and also have a mainstream media commercial with a gay theme.

Beer companies are well represented in the Commercial Closet Ad Library, largely due to an effort in the mid-1990s to pull away from the industry's longtime sexist advertising themes that objectified women. Such commercials were summed up by the Swedish Bikini Team ads from Stroh Brewing Co. for Old Milwaukee. Looking for new material to mine, brewers began extensively playing with gay and transgender themes in their advertising. However, because beer drinkers are stereotypically macho, the tone of many of the ads were more often negative.

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Jason McMurtrie , Philadelphia, PA
I'm not offended at all, nor do I think this ad negatively portrays trans people. The guys in the ad were never identified as trans. They are cheap guys who dress up as women to get free beer on ladies night. Lighten up!

Shahn , Northampton, MA
More typical trans-person-as-punchline crap. While I can totally understand the fun in making Don Rickles squirm, there is absolutely no need for this type of commercial. It's also sexist, in my opinion, and reinforces a "there's only one way to be an attractive woman" myth.

Terry , Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, Canada
Besides the unbelievability that a guy in drag would be in the same bar as Rickles, I guess I'd dislike any commercial with Don Rickles in it. Watching him to me is akin to chewing tin foil.

Andrea James , Los Angeles, CA
An alternate version with Karen Dior instead of the Ladies Night Guys never aired.

Kody Trauger , New York, NY
This ad revolves around a transgender theme. The characters were never identified as transsexual but the ad transgressed gender norms. Why is it funny for a man to be in a dress? Why is it "fun to watch"? This ad does nothing more than to perpetuate the stereotype that trans. themes are something to not be taken seriously.

Brenda Jean Louise , Waterbury, CT
Although the straight world and possibly the gay world would find this funny, it is in reality putting a bad smear on Transgendered Male to Females. We have enough problems trying to be treated as first class citizens let alone commercials like this promoting insensitivity and Transphobia in the general public.

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Be Yourself (guys and girls)
Company: Anheuser-Busch Cos.
Brand: Bud Light
Country: United States
Region: US National
Year: 2006



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Brand: Bud Light
Country: United States
Region: North America
Year: 2005



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Brand: Bud Light
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Region: North America
Year: 2005



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Brand: Bud Light
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Region: North America
Year: 2001

AdRespect Score:

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