Bud Light made a notoriously grave error last year by hiring an insular Harvard graduate with no connection to real America to run their marketing department.

Within seven months, left-winger Alissa Heinerscheid — “first female” in her role — incurred national humiliation.

An embarrassing and preventable implosion of Bud Light is occurring in the wake of the 38-year-old’s decision to enlist transgender social media provocateur Dylan Mulvaney to promote the brand. Bud Light’s sales have plummeted for nearly two months, while parent company Anheuser-Busch has lost more than $15 billion in value. Sales of rival brands have soared, even as many retailers have slashed prices for Bud Light. Some stores are even giving Bud Light away for free.

The most remarkable aspect of the Bud Light boycott is that it worked because boycotts usually don’t — at least in terms of affecting sales and stock prices. PETA crazies, for example, have been boycotting KFC for more than two decades to no effect. KFC’s biggest challenge is not PETA but Chick-fil-A, which continues to dominate, despite facing absurd boycotts from the left.

The definition of a boycott has changed. The goal now is rarely to affect the bottom line but rather to hurt the company’s reputation and create headaches for management.

Yet even that can be secondary. A successful boycott raises awareness or donations for the organizers. The top predictor of what makes a boycott effective is how much media attention it creates, not how many people sign a petition.

In other words, boycotts work, even if they don’t directly work against their targets. Activist groups have known for years that media attention provides evidence to donors that the group is doing something tangible.

Anti-Bud Light crusaders are succeeding, though I am skeptical the Bud Light example can be replicated due to the product and its market. Cheap, low-calorie beer is easily replaced by competitors. Whether you care about trans issues or not, you’re possibly concerned about getting grief from friends at a party; the solution: go buy essentially the same product right next to Bud Light that’s not being mocked for its woke agenda. That’s already happening.

Moreover, unlike other products, you display the beer brand when you consume it. No one can tell if you bought your shirt at LGBT-obsessed Target. Replacing a Target shirt involves more hassle and cost than replacing Bud Light.

“The pendulum swings far more glacially than people realize,” National Review’s Jeff Blehar concluded in a recent podcast. “There is too much money invested in this, too many people, with too many careers and too much to lose to give up on what they believe now. They will fight for every inch of territory they own and seek to claim as much as possible while they have power. In the long run, however, common sense has to win.”

I think we’ll see many more of these boycotts because, in the short term, the Bud Light example excites right-leaning “anti-woke” populists, who are now anti-corporate and want more takedowns. The attention they receive from cable news pundits makes the incentives too attractive to ignore.

The lesson for corporations should be to become more “conservative” regarding their choices, not necessarily politics. After all, their core mission remains shareholder value, not hiring a millennial with a woke agenda.

Ari Kaufman is a correspondent for several U.S. newspapers and magazines from Minnesota and Ohio to Tennessee and Virginia. He taught school and served as a military historian before beginning his journalism career. He is the author of three books and a frequent guest on radio programs and contributes to Israel National News and here at The Lid.