Super Bowl commercials are supposed to be the cream of the crop. Companies spend millions of dollars for a 30-second slot. And they want us talking about them even after the game ends.
Following the Super Bowl on Sunday, we’re certainly talking…but not for good reasons. I already wrote for the Washington Examiner about Michelob Ultra’s commercial for Pure Gold, an organic beer. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention those Bud Light commercials too.
Budweiser created an entire marketing campaign around the fact that it doesn’t use corn syrup to brew Bud Light. The medival-inspired commercials all incorporated the same messaging: we don’t use corn syrup to brew Bud Light; those other guys do.
The reaction on Twitter was pretty swift. Countless farmers blasted the company for vilifying corn syrup. And who was the target audience? Likely health-concious Millennials, who have been largely ditching beer for wine and hard liquors. It’s the same tactic taken for the Pure Cold commercial.
But that’s why this campaign was so dumb. Beer is alcohol. And corn syrup is a sugar. Alcohol is alcohol. Sugar is sugar. It doesn’t matter the source. Swapping out the corn syrup doesn’t make Bud Light any healthier than any other light beer.
MillerCoors responded via tweet. And a couple of the responses were humorous. But it bought into the anti-corn campaign too:
For the record, HFCS and corn syrup are different. As Men’s Health explains, HFCS has fructose and sucrose. Corn syrup just has sucrose. But little difference it makes. Because the sugars used for brewing are gone by the time the beer is finished.
So, yes, we’re literally having this conversation for no purpose. Because it doesn’t matter how the beer is brewed!
Aren’t we tired of this misleading advertising yet? If I’m drinking beer, it isn’t because I think it’s healthy. It’s because I want beer. And you definitely should be more concerned about how much beer you’re consuming, not how it was brewed.
I will add this final thought. I’m so glad farmers made a big stink about the Bud Light commercials. These companies see us as their whipping boys. It’s open season on the food we grow. But maybe now marketing people will think twice before condemning a crop with its own commodity group. Because, honestly, do you want people to tweet about literally pouring your product down the drain? I don’t think so.
So for the next great sporting event, I’ll just suggest beer companies go back to advertising using attractive people, puppies, Clydesdales, and the like.