Isn’t the purpose of advertising to get us to buy something?
You may wonder why sportswear company Nike chose a painfully skinny trans woman with no breasts and muscles to promote a sports bra? Especially since they recently launched the ‘year of the woman’ campaign.
The model, Dylan Mulvaney, identified as female a year ago, but has not yet physically transitioned. She certainly doesn’t look very athletic.
It must seem confusing to many women, but – as far as advertisers are concerned – the trendy box to be ticked this year is called “trans.”
In recent years, leading brands have fallen over themselves to ensure that black and tan and every skin color in between is represented in advertising.
Dylan Mulvaney’s beer promotion on Instagram saw the influencer knocking Bud Light back in the bath
In 2023, no family can be 100% white in a TV commercial. A determined effort has been made to better represent modern society – which is to be applauded.
However, while debates rage over whether trans women should be allowed to use the same locker rooms as biological women, which prisons they should be housed in, and whether they should be allowed to participate in sporting events alongside women born female, advertisers have astutely found a way around these controversies. to get their brands in the headlines and grab our attention.
Dylan (with 10 million followers on Tik Tok) appeals to advertisers because she is definitely a talking point. Just by choosing her to sell your product means she will attract likes and dislikes in equal measure and your brand will be in the news for weeks.
Women (and real athletes) who are female from birth just aren’t the flavor of the month in the wacky world of advertising where shock value is an important part if you want to get noticed.
Twenty-six-year-old Dylan achieved her success by posting a series of heart-pounding mini-dramas on TikTok, charting her “journey” from boy to girl.
In the films she goes for a swim in the sea in Sweden. She goes “walking” in high heels while exclaiming “trees, I love you” and “bridges, I love you,” before falling over and running away.
Bud Light’s parent company has lost more than $6 billion in market cap since announcing its partnership with Mulvaney
Trans activist Dylan Mulvaney is seen arriving at a studio in Hollywood on Tuesday
Dylan seems clumsy, anxious, inclined to whisper “Love you” to the camera every few seconds, as if she’s going on a trip to the North Pole, not a walk through New York. It’s not my kind of humor, but I can imagine her little stories appeal to young people wondering what their sexuality is and how they will be received in the world.
It’s the cynical way companies are using Dylan that everyone should be concerned about, straight, gay or trans.
Now the macho world of beer is being targeted by marketers eager to add a dash of “trans” controversy to sell their wares.
Bud Light was a bleak ale sold to blue-collar workers, loved by country music stars and regular guys in the US. Sales were stable, but nothing special.
Then Alissa Heinerscheid, vice president in charge of marketing, decided to reposition the product and make it more “inclusive,” and she paid Dylan Mulvaney to pose on TikTok with a personalized can in her bath.
In another place, she’s dressed like a tacky version of Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys, with tacky makeup, black gloves and cheap jewelry, posing with a can of Bud – once a fat dude’s drink.
The outrage that followed was completely predictable.
Kid Rock was filmed shooting several boxes in his yard.
Country star Travis Tritt said he was boycotting the brand and all of the company’s other drinks. Customers were confused.
Country singers Travis Tritt (left) and John Rich (right) pledged to cut ties with Anheuser-Busch over the polarizing partnership with Mulvaney
Would being inclusive and celebrating the trans community turn into sales? It doesn’t seem. Over the Easter weekend, parent company Anheuser-Busch saw $3 billion wiped out of their stock.
Nike got the same backlash last week when Dylan posted her silly sports bra exercise routine.
Megyn Kelly said, “Dylan doesn’t need a bra, let alone a sports bra.”
“If there was a woman who looked like this, she wouldn’t get approval because they say she (DYLAN) is clearly no good,” adding, “Did they run out of biological women to sell bras?”
Olympic medalists Caitlyn Jenner and Sharron Davies both loudly complained about Nike’s decision. Davies replied “it feels like a parody of what women are” adding that the phrase “run like a woman” has been used as an insult in the past.
Caitlyn Jenner, who underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2017, described Dylan’s choice as “an outrage” and disagreed with Mulvaney’s view that wearing shorts “with a bulge” was normal for women. Jenner said “there’s a difference between acceptance and tolerance and normalizing exposing your genitals in public.”
The more she is attacked, the more Dylan will tell her followers that she is brave. She is seen by some as a role model and by others as a self-obsessed egotist.
She certainly uses her status to enrich her bank balance.
In addition to Nike and Budweiser beer, Dylan is supported by skin products from fashion house Kate Spade, Crest, Instacart and CeraVe.
I have two major complaints about Dylan’s TikTok personality.
Dylan Mulvaney wears the sports bra for the new collaboration with sportswear company Nike
First, she constantly whines about being “brave” – as if anything in the world could attack or humiliate her. She does not encourage her followers to have strength, inner determination or self-confidence.
She seems to be playing a part – one of an idiot girl – which brings me to my main concern about her intentions. She humiliates all women with this parody of what we are.
Women come in all shapes and sizes and yet more and more big brands are choosing to use Dylan to sell their products, in the mistaken belief that by choosing someone who is transgender, the brand will be ‘inclusive’ – and more products will sell. In fact, she is a terrible role model for all women.
Choosing Dylan to whip up sports bras was a disastrous move by Nike.
The best (free) advertisement for their bras took place during the 2022 EUFA Euro Final, when Chloe Kelly scored the winning goal, stripped off her team jersey and ran around the pitch showing off her Nike bra.
That moment of pure, pure excitement would have lashed sports bras more than a seriously underweight stick insect throwing her arms around and announcing “warn the media – I’m entering my workout era.”
In the sick advertising world, real women are no longer considered important, even though we make up the majority of people who buy bras by a decent margin.
In the 1980s, Scottish brewers Tennent’s whipped up their lager in cans with ‘Lager Lovelies’ printed on them, local beauty queens were photographed posing on sunny beaches. Today they are collectibles, available on eBay at high prices.
Will a can of Budweiser featuring Dylan Mulvaney achieve similar cult status?
I do not think so.