Budweiser Updated 3 of Its Cringingly Sexist Old Ads for Women's Day

Revisiting the embarrasing work of half-century ago

They've always made popular fodder for BuzzFeed-style lists—the now-shockingly sexist advertising from the 1950s and '60s.

For International Women's Day today, Budweiser has dredged up three of its own embarrassing ads from the Mad Men era, and cleverly updated them with a modern take. And it's placing the ads side by side—old and new—in today's issues of The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.

In each of the vintage ads, the women is portrayed as little more than a servant to her husband—satisfying his needs, of which a Budweiser is always a part. The first ad, below, from 1956, sets the tone for all of them—that keeping her husband happy is central to the woman's own sense of self-worth.

In the updated version, there's no man to be found at all—just a woman and her girlfriends. "She's surrounded by those who embrace who she is, inside and out. And that's all she really needs," says the copy.

Extra text at the bottom of the new version announces Bud's new partnership with #SeeHer, an organization devoted to "the accurate portrayal of women in media and advertising."

VaynerMedia created the campaign for Bud. It's not a new idea—in fact, a Brazilian brewer Skol did almost the exact same thing in 2017. Like Skol, Bud also hired women illustrators to create the new versions. Still, knockoff or not, it's still a brave move to show your old sexist work to the world—and admirable to commit to keep improving. 

Check out the other two pairs of ads below. 

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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