Seeking to boost sales during a year where its branding campaigns have caused major uproars, Bud Light will be turning to two NFL icons.
Former football legends Emmitt Smith — a running back for both the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals — and Peyton Manning — a quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos — will be featured in the new “Easy Rounds” campaign.
In the ad, Manning orders a round of Bud Lights for people at a bar, then throws the cans to them like they were footballs. One person dives for a can and slides on the ground, ending up at the feet of Smith, who signals for the touchdown.
The new ad campaign is much easier going and celebratory than a partnership Bud Light rolled out earlier this year with Dylan Mulvaney, a social media influencer who’s transgender.
The online backlash against Bud Light came swiftly after that partnership went live, with customers all over calling for boycotts of the beer.
Kid Rock posted a video online of him shooting a case of Bud Light while he wore a MAGA hat, with that video garnering more than 11 million views. Travis Tritt, another country music artist, pulled all products produced by Anheuser-Busch from his concert tour.
Even Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis highly criticized the partnership, which was a disaster for the company’s sales.
In total, Anheuser-Busch InBev data revealed that Bud Light’s U.S. revenue dropped 10% in the second quarter of this year as a result. During the same period, revenue in North America dropped $395 million year-over-year.
In addition, third-quarter revenue per 100 liters in the U.S. dropped 13.5%, according to Anheuser-Busch data.
Bud Light is now trying to make up for its faux pas by partnering with two relatively safe partners who are universally loved by football fans everywhere.
Smith explained to Fox Business why he believes that people should not boycott Bud Light forever.
“Every brand itself goes through iterations of highs and lows,” he said. “Even the Dallas Cowboys are going through iterations of highs and lows.”
NO.. to Bud Light! Go woke, go broke!
Bud Light teams up with NFL legends Peyton Manning and Emmitt Smith in desperate bid to boost sales after Dylan Mulvaney marketing disaster sparked widespread boycott. 🙄⬇️🖕https://t.co/RuelqVsLar
— Judy ⛳️ (@judytgolf) December 2, 2023