The beef sparked between Bud Light and MillerCoors during the Super Bowl commercials has continued into its third day, with the latter taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times to reassert its use of corn syrup.
The first of Bud Light’s three Super Bowl ads screened during the game took direct aim at the ingredients used to make Miller Lite and Coors Light. The film saw the Bud Light King receive a large shipment of corn syrup in error and embark on a quest to return it to its rightful owner – either the kingdom of Miller Lite or Coors Light.
In response, Miller Lite has taken out a full-page ad in the New York Times to address the ‘beer drinkers of America’, thanking Bud Light for making it clear that it does indeed use corn syrup to produce its lager.
The brand worked with agency DDB to craft the copy.
“What might have gotten a little lost between the parties and the wings on Sunday is the distinction between ‘corn syrup’ and high- fructose corn syrup,” read the letter. “To be clear, ‘corn syrup’ is a normal part of the brewing process and does not even end up in your great tasting can of Miller Lite.”
It went on to state that while it was “unfortunate” the Bud Light ad had stoked the “#controversy”, the brewery brand thanks its competitor for the chance to “clarify the truth and remind beer drinkers that Miller Lite has more taste than Bud Light with fewer calories and half the carbs”.
The ad follows on from MillerCoors’ initial corporate statement, which it issued yesterday (4 February). Alongside clarifying how corn syrup is used in brands such as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Corona Extra too, the release went on to unpick the strategy behind Bud Light’s “ingredient transparency” campaign and brought attention to what it classed as “the cool reception” to the ‘Dilly Dilly’ Super Bowl ads.
It noted that industry titles AdAge and Adweek were unconvinced by the creative, and asserted Bud Light’s shipments dropped 6.7% in 2018.
Gavin Hattersley, MillerCoors chief executive, wrote in a note to distributors: “Bud Light is starting this fight for one simple reason. They are scared. Coors Light and Miller Lite are making inroads and Bud Light doesn’t have an answer.
“We’re getting under the competition’s skin, and we’re ready to take more of their market share too.”
Bud Light had not responded to The Drum's request for comment at the time of publication.