By Imogen Watson | Senior reporter

February 25, 2019 | 3 min read

After using its bumper buy of Super Bowl spots to launch its #corntroversy 'ingredient transparency' campaign, Bud Light is once again using a very public window – the Oscars ad break – to shame MillerCoors over its use of ‘corn syrup’ as part of the brewing process.

#Corntoversy timeline

  • February 2 - Bud Light 'Special Delivery' ad airs during Super Bowl
  • February 5 - MillerCoors snaps back with full-page New York Times ad, reasserting its use of corn syrup
  • February 6 - Bud Light responds to MillerCoors open letter with a colloquial letter from 'King John Barley IV'
  • February 15 - Coors Light raises a glass in #ToastToFarmers
  • February 23 - MillerCoors pulls out of next month's 'beer alliance' meeting
  • February 24 - Bud Light runs 'Thespians performing beer ingredients' during Oscars ad break

The public spat began at last month’s Super Bowl when Bud Light ran three TV ads highlighting MillerCoors' use of corn syrup in its two of its beer brands, Coors Light and Miller Lite.

This prompted MillerCoors to respond with a full-page newspaper ad addressed to ‘Beer Drinkers of America’ which defended its use of the ingredient.

After Bud Light penned a more comical response from 'King John Barley IV,' MillerCoors pulled out of a ‘beer alliance’ meeting – a collective of beer brewers united by the aim of winning back customers who have defected to wine and spirits.

Although the #corntroversy seems particularly scathing, Bud Light’s vice-president of marketing, Andy Goeler insisted to The Drum it is: "not a fight or attack. It’s a conversation that we wanted to start about ingredient transparency."

Created by Wieden + Kennedy, 'Thespians Performing Beer Ingredients’ is set within Bud Light’s medieval ‘Dilly Dilly’ universe; a land filled with mead, jousting and pits of misery.

The spot opens in a pastoral medieval theater where one can almost smell the stench of animals and medieval feet. On the stage, two ‘thespians’ act out the differing beer ingredients between MillerLite and Bud Light.

After the second thespian announces to the crown that Bud Light is made with “no corn syrup,” the audience erupt into applause, with one lady brimming with tears.

Claiming to be the first beer in the US to attach a clear, on-pack ingredient label, the #corntoversy saga is part of the beer brewers attempt to present a fresh USP in an ever-fragmenting and competitive alcohol sector.

Bud Light: Thespians Performing Beer Ingredients by Wieden+Kennedy

By Bud Light

Overall Rating 5/5

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