In this year of 2019, the bulk of toxic public bickering takes place across social media platforms. For brands, Twitter has been the perfect place to chirp at each other here and there, to the delight of anyone who always wanted to see their two favorite burger joints argue from behind their Twitter accounts.
But Bud Light went far beyond mere trolling for retweets when it decided to use its multiple Super Bowl ads to call out its competitors Miller Lite and Coors Light for their use of corn syrup. This was an old-school brand war. The 1980s and ’90s saw the famed Cola Wars, the Burger Wars, and now we have the new century’s first Beer Wars.
Now Miller Lite has struck back with two new commercials that troll Bud Light’s medieval fantasyland as just that–a fantasy.
Aside from the fantasy that Bud’s ad agency Wieden+Kennedy would actually have Miller Lite on set while making a Bud Light ad, it’s a fun and funny swipe. Much better than, say, a full page newspaper ad no one will actually read or delivering free beer to corn farmers.
I reached out to Bud Light for comment, and a brand spokesperson said that they had a hunch Miller Lite would swing back, so they already shot their own response.
In a statement, Bud Light VP of marketing Andy Goehler said, “In the real world, people want to know what’s in their beer. We hope MillerCoors is also planning to imitate us by adding ingredient labels to their packaging. It’s good for the consumer and the right thing for the beer industry, too. Our focus on transparency has always been motivated by consumers, and Bud Light is going to continue to push transparency forward and give them what they demand.”
On the one hand, Bud Light’s focus on ingredients has seemingly served up the rest of the light beer category with an advertising gift, fueling direct competition with a never-ending stream of commercials and social posts. On the other, the beer category continues to struggle amid a years-long trend of losing market share to craft beer, wine, and spirits. So these brands seemed to have decided that if they can’t win share back from those outside forces, they need to scrap and fight for it amongst themselves.
Crack a cold one, because this isn’t ending anytime soon. By this fall maybe we’ll have executives jousting at the Great American Beer Festival.