After a year riddled with controversy over advertisements and influencers, Bud Light is clapping back at criticism with the company’s Super Bowl LVIII commercial.
The one-minute-long advertisement features a character called the Bud Light Genie who pops out of a Bud Light bottle in an unsuspecting fan’s refrigerator.
The genie then starts granting a group of friends every wish, from a new car to more muscular arms, and features cameo appearances from former NFL star Peyton Manning, rapper Post Malone and the UFC’s Dana White.
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The commercial, set to air on Sunday during the Big Game, is part of the company’s ongoing “Easy to Drink — Easy to Enjoy” campaign that was rolled out during last year’s Super Bowl with an advertisement featuring actor Miles Teller.
“We wanted to get back to the humor the brand has been known for,” said Bud Light’s VP Todd Allen, per CNN. “Consumers are expecting us to bring a little bit of light-heartedness and irreverence back, so we listened and that’s what we’re bringing forward.”
Bud Light sales plummeted in 2023 after a controversial social media partnership with transgender TikTok activist Dylan Mulvaney, which led to a boycott of the brand that was started by singer Kid Rock in April 2023 in which he posted a video of him shooting multiple Bud Light cans in protest on social media. The singer called for an end to the boycott in December.
The controversy led to the CMO of Anheuser-Busch (Bud Light’s parent company) in the U.S., Benoit Garbe, to step down at the end of 2023.
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The company has been making a concerted effort to get back to its roots and core customers, partnering with celebrities such as Post Malone, who has been involved with the brand across several campaigns and promotions.
“We wanted to call on those longstanding friends of the brand to join us for the ride and they’re all aligned to the passion points and platforms that our fans know and love from Bud Light and expect from us,” Allen told the Hollywood Reporter.
The beer brand will also be putting on a slew of programming in Las Vegas where Super Bowl LVIII is taking place, including an acoustic concert featuring country star Zach Bryan and an interactive takeover of the city’s newest immersive venue, The Sphere, which is meant to make viewer’s feel like they’re inside of a Bud Light bottle.
Though Anheuser-Busch saw a 5% uptick in global revenue to $15.57 billion in Q3 of 2023, the company noted that U.S. business and sales were affected by the ongoing Bud Light backlash as U.S.-specific revenue dropped 13.5% quarterly.
Anheuser-Busch is expected to report Q4 2023 earnings on February 29.