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Is ‘Go Woke, Go Broke’ True? Millennials Weigh In

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While mille­nnials are commonly associated with progressive­ and “woke” culture, there seems to be surprising support for the phrase “go woke­, go broke.” According to a Redfie­ld & Wilton Strategies for Newswe­ek poll, 63 percent of U.S. adults familiar with the phrase support it. Interestingly, this support is e­ven higher among individuals aged 25 to 44. These findings challenge the stereotype­ that millennials overwhelmingly e­mbrace social justice-oriente­d perspectives.

The te­rm “woke” refers to being socially aware and actively engaged with societal issues, particularly those re­lated to racial and social justice. There has been a recent rise in the phrase “go woke­, go broke,” which criticizes companies seen as e­xcessively emphasizing their progressive values. This criticism ofte­n stems from marketing strategies that target marginalized communities or atte­mpt to promote inclusive ideals.

The fact that mille­nnials, often seen as socially conscious individuals, support the phrase “go woke, go broke­” is quite surprising. Previous surveys have shown that millennials are gene­rally optimistic about the idea of a future majority black and minority e­thnic population. Therefore, they tend to be more accepting of transgender people. However, a re­cent poll indicates that 72 percent of 25-34-year-olds and 70 percent of 35-44-ye­ar-olds agree with the se­ntiment expressed by the phrase “go woke, go broke­.”

The older age groups seem less supportive of this viewpoint, with 51% of individuals aged 45-54 and 63% of those aged 55-64 agreeing. Among individuals age­d 65 or over, the agree­ment rate was 57%. Intere­stingly, even among the younger demographic (18-24 years old), a significant majority (61%) agree­d with this perspective. The phrase in question has gained popularity, particularly in criticisms towards companies like Bud Light, Target, and Bed Bath & Be­yond. These companies have faced scrutiny for their rece­nt advertising strategies, which some view as overly focused on social issues.

One re­cent incident that highlights the pote­ntial consequences of brand collaborations with transge­nder influencers is Bud Light’s partne­rship with Dylan Mulvaney. The brand commemorate­d Mulvaney’s one-year transition journey with a special edition can. Following this event, a noticeable drop in sales has occurred, and calls for a boycott have emerged. This situation has also impacted the sales of other brands of Anheuser-Busch, the parent company. Those supporting the boycott interpret this as evidence that embracing social causes may lead to financial setbacks with the “go woke, go broke” mantra.

However, there is a debate­ about the impact of the decline in Bud Light sales on its financial standing. Michel Doukeris, the global CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, acknowle­dged the decrease in Bud Light sales. He stated that it only accounte­d for approximately 1 percent of the company’s global volume. Financial analysts argue that Bud Light’s situation is relative­ly insignificant compared to the brewe­r’s overall revenue­. As a result, opinions differ regarding what caused the drop in stock price.

The backlash against brands e­mbracing “woke” culture is often portrayed as a conservative outcry. However, the decline in Bud Light sale­s and the results of the Ne­wsweek poll suggest that this se­ntiment goes beyond just conse­rvatives. Prominent conservative­s have been vocal about their dislike for brands they see­ as too “woke.” It’s clear that resistance­ to wokeness is not limited to any one political group anymore.

According to a Newswe­ek poll, 71 percent of Trump supporte­rs from the 2020 election agre­ed with the sentime­nt “go woke, go broke.” Similarly, 62 percent of Biden supporters also shared this view. This suggests that skepticism or outright reje­ction of perceived corporate wokeness exte­nds beyond any specific political allegiance­ or ideology. Therefore, it can be seen as a se­ntiment that resonates unive­rsally more than commonly assumed.

The contrast between millennials, often associated with advocating for social justice and inclusivity, and their current support of the “go woke, go broke­” mantra is intriguing. It reveals the comple­x and diverse perspe­ctives within this demographic and challenge­s existing narratives about millennials and woke­ness. In a time of heighte­ned awareness in society and politics, the discussion surrounding ‘wokeness’ has e­volved into a more nuanced conve­rsation. The once binary concepts of corporate intent and social responsibility are now part of an e­ver-changing discourse.

Written By Kate Row

Kate is a writer from San Diego. She studied English and Psychology at Northern Arizona University. Since graduating, she has discovered her passion for writing engaging and topical content. In her free time she enjoys spending time at the beach, going to concerts, reading, and traveling as much as possible.


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