It’s been more than three weeks since Bud Light’s ‘corntroversial’ Super Bowl commercial first aired leaving Anheuser-Busch still giving mixed messages and MillerCoors now pulling out of a long-planned alliance with its biggest competitors.
And the ‘Big Beer’ battles continue…
It all started on Super Bowl Sunday when Bud Light returned to last year’s popular “Dilly, Dilly” medieval kingdom to accuse both Miller Lite and Coors Light of using corn syrup in their beers.
In the Super Bowl spot, the kingdom of Bud Light mistakenly receives a gigantic barrel of corn syrup that wasn’t intended for them. And because Bud Light doesn’t use corn syrup in its beer, the kingdom’s subjects embark on a brutal journey to deliver the barrel to the kingdoms of Miller Lite and Coors Light – because they evidently do.
MillerCoors then ran a full-page ad in the New York Times championing its use of corn syrup, adding in a not so subtle nod to the National Corn Growers Association, that it was sourced from “America’s heartland.”
And MillerCoors’ CEO Gavin Hattersley got fiery about the Bud Light Super Bowl ad on the company’s 2018 fourth-quarter earnings call…
“Anheuser-Busch could not have handled it as a better gift if they tried harder. Our distributors are proud. They are fiercely competitive and they like nothing more than a good fight.”
“Nothing we could have done could have fired them up so much,” he said. “Our employees are just as fired up and the next few months are going to be interesting for sure.”
And now this ongoing beer war has caused MillerCoors to pull out of meetings for a multimillion-dollar, “Got Milk” style advertising campaign…an almost unheard of alliance between Anheuser-Busch InBev, Molson Coors , Heineken NV and Constellation Brands designed to revive the slowing beer sector.
According to the Wall Street Journal “MillerCoors, Molson’s U.S. unit, pulled out of a meeting slated for next month and said the initiative should be paused following a public spat with Bud Light maker AB InBev.”
MillerCoors’ Communications Chief, Pete Marino, told the Journal that the long-planned campaign would be a “waste of time and money…while the dominant industry leader is spending millions of dollars demonizing beer ingredients.”
And so the Big Beer ‘corntroversy’ continues…