#NoMames: Five Reasons Why Bud Light Phoenix’s “Mexican Beer Belly” Meme Fails

Sometimes when it comes to social media and the constant perceived pressure by brands to go “viral,” the end result can be perplexing, and you can have your fans just shaking their heads. Take, for example, the Facebook page of Bud Light Phoenix. Now we won’t get into the local history of the Hensley Company, the Phoenix Anheuser-Busch distributor headed up by Senator John McCain’s wife, Cindy Hensley McCain, and the owner behind the Spanish-language Facebook page, which is geared to the city’s Latino demographic. Let’s just focus on what the page posted today:


With a status update that says, “The person who does not have a beer belly, has never enjoyed life,” Facebook fans of the page are greeted with a meme of a really humongous guy chilling with a beer (is it even a Bud Light?) resting on his really humongously gross beer belly. The caption suggest that this flipping huge beer belly would make a great cooler.

Now, the meme is not even one that the BLP page created itself. It comes from another site (say hi to the guy!):


Talk about being creative. So what does this meme fail? Here are five reasons:

  1. Does a major brand really think that sharing a half-naked fat Mexican guy who isn’t even drinking your own beer is a good idea? Mind you, when we saw the Facebook post, we were in the middle of having lunch. It wasn’t a pretty scene.
  2. Yes, we get it. You are trying to be “edgy” and “funny” and “viral.” Not edgy. Not funny. Not viral.
  3. Oh yeah, you can only be called a real Bud Light drinker if you are a fat Mexican loser. Hey, fatties, get those beer bellies nice and big with Bud Light!
  4. What is the post trying to communicate? We would understand the post better if it showed up on pages that actually do this type of content all the time, but this is a major brand we’re talking about. We doubt such an image would show up on those types of pages. That is why it was so jarring. Social media lessons, anyone?
  5. Does Bud Light Phoenix truly know its Facebook audience? Does it know that its demographic is very likely going to be a combination of people, those who might see this as funny (and so far, that is not the case), and those who will just think it is unfunny and lame? In the end, it was just another contrived way to get more viral hits, and from the looks of it, it didn’t happen, and the brand comes across as cheap and insensitive.

Here’s an idea: how about an actual picture of, well, let us think, a real person in Phoenix enjoying a real Bud Light? Was that too difficult to conjure up at the last social media meeting?

Brands that try really hard to be funny, generally fail. Beer Belly Fat Mexican Guy was just another example.


I know this ad isn't funny for everybody.  But, look at the comments on the page laughing and making comments about the "borrachos."  I can appreciate the ad because I think it bodies part of the Mexican subculture who carry on with the attitude "me vale madre."  This guy reminds me of so many friends from my past and how much I miss just passing time with people that weren't uptight about anything and weren't weighed down by a ton of pretensions.   Now, I am surrounded by  people all day who can't hold a conversation for five minutes without  breaking into some self righteous diatribe about the rest of the world.   I'd love to sit down and have a beer with this guy and have a "platica" about the mundane things of daily life.  Yeah, it might be nice if he puts a shirt on, but hey, it's Phoenix and it's hot.  

latinorebels moderator

 @DignityPeace Still a mixed demographic on that page. We got this from people who following the page who were like, WTH? We would expect in on a page like So Mexican, but a Bud Light brand page?


 @latinorebels Gotcha!  You guys are definitely on top of the social media demographics.  This definitely is something that would not resonate with a mixed demographic, but it clearly would be fitting with the So Mexican page or as a poster in a Mexican run business.  Personally, I think it's authentic, but it doesn't cut across groups very well.