Nothing seems to be going right for Bud Light. Bud Light is more backlash after catering to disgruntled customers with a rural-themed commercial and now preventing viewers from giving their feedback by disabling the comments section on YouTube. The weird decision seems to have invited more trouble for Bud Light.
The advertisement, which aired during the NFL Draft on Thursday and was later uploaded to YouTube, features four friends cracking open Bud Light cans at a country music festival while the Zac Brown Band's song Chicken Fried is playing. The commercial comes less than a month after the beer brand faced severe backlash over its paid partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Inviting More Trouble
It's unclear what prompted Bud Light to disable the comments sections on its YouTube page. The brand has produced a series of commercials in the wake of their April 1 deal with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney, which resulted in a sharp decline in sales.
The advertisement makes a blatant reference to American country music and its supporters and is meant to make light of the more conservative market, a large portion of which was turned off by the controversy.
The 30-second video has more than 8 million views and less than 200 likes in the three days since its debut. Comparatively, the song Chicken Fried, which was posted 14 years ago, has 571,000 likes and 135 million views.
The number of users that 'disliked' the new advertisement is unclear because YouTube discontinued a function that allowed viewers to see how many dislikes a video has in 2021. At the time, several people felt that by doing this, it was catering to large corporations that frequently fell prey to "dislike attacks."
Understandably, Bud Light wants to avoid more criticism this was the best possible way to do it. However, the decision doesn't seem to have worked as people continued to criticize the advertisement on Twitter even after the YouTube comments were disabled.
"Real smart, p*** off that demographic, then cynically try to lure them back with this. Don't fall for it," wrote one Twitter user.
"Re Bud Light's use of Zach Brown's "Chicken Fried" during the NFL draft to stop the sales dive. Nice try, but nah. Made it worse. You revealed how intentional your trans promotion was. You knew. You chose. You didn't care. It only takes once to show us who you really are," another user tweeted.
Another Wrong Decision
Disabling the comments on YouTube is not only further tarnishing the image of the company but many social media users are now labeling Bud Light as 'cowards.' "Just saw your new throwback commercial showing the good old days. Cowards," one Twitter user wrote.
"The good old days are gone until you address the womanface situation. You underestimate our memory, further insulting us. 1 solid month of insult, and now you think we are coming back. Get lost."
The country fair advertisement was released a day before Mulvaney herself returned to social media for the first time since the backlash. She committed to keeping up her social media activity and said, "I don't know if reincarnation is a thing, but in my next life, I would love to be someone non-confrontational and uncontroversial."
Evidence of how the Bud Light partnership with Mulvaney may have hurt the brand was evident from a viral video produced by prominent musician Kid Rock who specializes in southern rock, rap, and songs with country influences,
Kid Rock uploaded a video in which he used a rifle to shoot a case of Bud Light beer and said while donning a MAGA hat, that he wanted to send a 'clear and concise' message.
"F*** Bud Light, and f*** Anheuser-Busch. Have a terrific day," he said.
Conservative lawmakers and celebrities soon joined in the uproar on social media, sharing their disapproval of the partnership.
A day later, Alabama, country music icon Brantley Gilbert voiced his protest to the partnership during a performance at Indian Mountain ATV Park in Piedmont.
A beer can was thrown at him on stage but he took a look at it and yelled, "F**k that!" He was given a new kind of beer to drink after smashing the can on the ground.
Two executives have been placed on leave by Anheuser-Busch as a result of the Bud Light partnership.
Daniel Blake, who oversees Anheuser-Busch's mainstream brands, resigned from his position last week, a day after Alissa Heinerscheid, vice president of marketing for Bud Light, took a leave of absence.
Heinerscheid reports to Blake, and the move reveals the turbulence at the $100 billion+ multinational business. The company claimed that the executives "decided" to temporarily step down. However, it appears that this decision was not voluntary.