The Super Bowl was considered to be generally a boring game due to a defensive struggle that resulted in the lowest scoring NFL championship game ever and another title for the New England Patriots. Despite the lack of offense there were a few offensive advertisements that resulted in social media backlash, including Bud Light’s corn syrup commercials.
In years past agriculture has been painted with a positive light by Super Bowl advertisements. In 2014, Chevrolet talked about “Romance on the Ranch” between a Hereford bull and some heifers. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was taken down a notch or two in 2017 with an advertisement that pointed out its funding structure that doesn’t actually help animals directly. A recent commercial receiving the highest praise was Dodge Ram’s “So God Made a Farmer” spot in 2013 featuring narration by legendary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey.
For Super Bowl LIII, Bud Light’s corn syrup advertisements were seen as a far cry from supporting agriculture. In a series of advertisements that ran during the Super Bowl or were promoted online, Bud Light used its medieval “Dilly Dilly” themed commercials to shine light on the fact that Miller Lite and Coors Light use corn syrup in the brewing process. The commercials are part of Bud Light’s rollout of ingredient labels on their beer cases that will start in February.
Farmers and other members of agriculture went to social media to voice their displeasure with Anheuser-Busch Co.’s decision to purport other beers’ containing corn syrup as being inferior:
It even sparked Iowa corn farmer Kevin Ross to go to Twitter where he shared a video of himself dumping Bud Light down the sink with the social media tag #dumpdillydilly:
A number of Tweets followed suit with the #dumpdillydilly hashtag:
Fans of beer and employees of Miller-Coors were also displeased with Bud Light’s advertising tactics, especially since high fructose corn syrup is used in other Anheuser-Busch products:
With the negative reaction to the advertisement from agriculture and beer fans, there’s hope that Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light will try a more positive message for the products in its own beers.
The Bud Light corn syrup commercials weren’t the only advertisements to draw criticism from farmers, Mint Mobile’s “Chunky-Style Milk” spot also sparked some controversy on #agtwitter.
What are your thoughts about the recent Super Bowl advertisements? Let us know in the comments.