Bud Light isn’t having much luck recovering from the self-inflicted wound of the disastrous partnership with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney and the latest ad in what has been a summer marketing blitz has fallen as flat as the others.
In the lead-up to the Fourth of July weekend, normally one of the biggest beer-drinking periods of the year, Bud Light turned to NFL superstar Travis Kelce to tout the brand’s manliness, a longtime strength before the Mulvaney fiasco. But like its other recent ads, customers aren’t buying it.
In the 15-second video spot that was posted to YouTube, the All-Pro tight end for the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs is seen with several other beefy males brandishing the familiar blue and white cans and making grunting noises at what appears to be a July 4th holiday BBQ.
(Video: YouTube/Bud Light)
The ad, titled “Backyard Grunts with Travis Kelce” comes as Bud Light struggles to recapture market share due to months of boycotts of the formerly popular brew which have cratered sales, with the latest dismal numbers showing a decline of a stunning 28 percent heading into the long Independence Day weekend.
Reactions poured in and they were not good news for the marketing department.
“So you went from a man pretending to be a little girl to now showing manly grunting people …to swing it the other way? You gotta lock your marketing team in a room with rabid dogs and toss the key,” one person wrote in the YouTube comments which were overwhelmingly negative.
“Seriously, Bud thinks we’re stupid. Not addressing the problem and thinking we will see this commercial and think ‘Gee, that seems good, let’s buy a Butt Lite’. The arrogance is typical. Bud You’re DONE. Consumers are way more sophisticated than you think we are,” another said.
Another commenter cracked, “I really get the Grunting with the Trans community, you nailed it AB!”
“King of Beers transitioned to Queen of Beers,” joked another. “Detransitioning is very hard.”
“Well done bud light 🙂 you completely nailed the sound your investors made when you shafted them up the keester and ruined their investments:-)” added another user.
Other commenters took shots at Kelce, who never actually took a sip of Bud Light in the ad.
“This ad is proof positive that anyone will do anything for a buck, even degrade himself,” one wrote.
Another said, “Sucks Kelce sold out. One more cat we get to knock off the list. Kind of pathetic he sold himself out. He just lost all the sweat equity he worked so hard to get.”
“I hope Travis hears it from the fans at road games. Sold out,” said a user.
“Message to CEO- stop spending big $$ on these stupid kiss ass ads. Just friggin apologize and ADMIT WHAT YOU DID,” wrote another person, offering up some advice to Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth whose lame statements haven’t helped soothe protesting consumers.
Whitworth has been taking heavy fire, most recently from a former top company exec who said that a change is needed at the top and called for his resignation.
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) July 2, 2023
“Whitworth has clearly shown himself to be incapable of solving the Mulvaney crisis. He’s had multiple chances and he’s failed. It’s time he did the right thing and stepped aside to make way for someone capable of righting the sinking Bud Light ship,” wrote former Anheuser-Busch president Anson Frericks in a column for the Daily Mail.
Far and away the most dominant tight end in the NFL since the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, Kelce will look to add to his Hall of Fame resume when the Chiefs open the defense of their title against the Detroit Lions in a nationally televised Thursday night game on September 7th from Arrowhead Stadium.
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