Is it smart for brands to endorse presidental candidates?

The owner of Yuengling Brewery recently endorsed Donald Trump for president. The news has been trending on social media., but is the endorsement a smart move by Yuengling?

It appears that the endorsement may have hurt Yuengling’s relationship with its customers. The lead singer from OTEP openly spoke out against Yuengling’s endorsement of Trump on Twitter.

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Image from @otepofficial on Twitter.

Several tweets appear under the phrase, “Yuengling boycott” on Twitter; one Twitter user’s response is featured below.

yuengtweet

Image from @Vagabondster on Twitter.

One of my Facebook friends, Marquiceon voiced his lack of support for Yuengling.

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Several other Yuengling drinkers feel similar to Marquiceon and are planning to boycott Yuengling.

From a public relations viewpoint, it does not seem smart for any brand to endorse a political candidate when the brand is not directly involved in politics.

From a consumer perspective, I am more likely to support brands and individuals who are neutral in terms of endorsing presidential candidates. Although the presidential election is extremely important, I believe brands should refrain from direct endorsement of candidates, as it may hurt their reputations, and in Yuengling’s case, profits.

Yuengling Brewery did however use presidents in a clever way on social media. The brand engaged with its followers by creating a contest featured below:

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Image from Yuengling Brewery on Twitter.

 

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