Bud Light has teamed up with NFL legends Peyton Manning and Emmitt Smith in a bid to boost sales following its PR disaster with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney which saw customers boycott the brand.
The Pro Football Hall of Famers star in a new commercial released ahead of the Super Bowl which kicks off in two months time at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium.
The brand remained the official NFL sponsor despite sales plummeting 30 percent amid controversy over its decision to partner with Mulvaney for a campaign.The influencer, 26, partnered with the beer brand in April for their March Madness NCAA campaign and was sent a personalized can as part of the promotion.
But the backlash caused Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, to lose $400million in sales as transphobic fans shunned the brand and others who felt the it did not do enough to defend Mulvaney also boycotted.Their total US revenue dropped 10.5 percent compared to the year before, forcing its chief US marketing officer to stand down after the beer was knocked off its top spot as the country’s bestseller.
Bud Light’s new advert sees Manning order a round of beers for the bar before firing them out to patrons, with help from Smith.
In typical quarterback style, Manning drops back and starts passing cans of Bud Light before Smith joins the crowd to call the touchdown.
The campaign also kicks off the chance for fans to win Playoff and Super Bowl tickets by scanning QR codes on their cans.
‘It’s an iconic brand, and it’s been around sports for a long time. Every brand itself goes through iterations of highs and lows,’ Smith told Fox Business.
‘Even the Dallas Cowboys are going through iterations of highs and lows, and it’s been a low for a long period of time because we haven’t been to the NFC Championship Game, etc., etc.’
‘So, in this case, I think with what Bud Light is doing to engage with fans is wonderful.
‘They’re providing them with the opportunity to do something very special, very unique.’They give them a different level of experience, utilizing Peyton Manning and myself, and I think that is unique in itself.’
Manning added: ‘Experiencing the playoffs or the Super Bowl is a special moment for a fan, and I’m happy that Emmitt and I get to be part of Bud Light’s mission to host their largest ever NFL postseason ticket giveaway.’
The ad is set to run in a 30 and 15 second format throughout the 2023 NFL Playoff season, leading up to Super Bowl LVIII, and comes as part of the brand’s larger ‘Easy to Drink, Easy to Enjoy’ platform established during Super Bowl LVII.
The stunt is the latest marketing device deployed by the beer company since sales began to tank in the wake of the Mulvaney partnership.
It comes after Anheuser-Busch announced $3 million in scholarships for families of America’s fallen and disabled first responders.
The scholarships are being offered alongside Folds of Honor, its longest-standing charity partner of over 100 years in another bid to distance itself from the culture wars.
The brand also partnered with UFC in a $105 million deal, despite fierce criticism and calls for fans to boycott the MMA promotion company.
President Dana White defended the decision saying doesn’t ‘give a s***’ about criticism over beer brand’s use of Mulvaney and that, ‘they are exactly who I want to be with’.
But sales have continued to plunge, with the world’s biggest brewer reporting 13.5 percent dip in revenue in the third quarter.
CMO Benoit Garbe is set to step down from the role at the end of the year amid the slump.