Bud Light may have cracked up some Super Bowl viewers with its ads on Sunday, but the company also cracked open a feud with its biggest competitors and a major agricultural giant for a whopping three Super Bowl ads critical of corn syrup.
One of the Anheuser-Busch beer brand ads that aired during the first half depicts the cast of medieval “Dilly Dilly” characters enduring a full-out odyssey to deliver an enormous barrel of corn syrup to Coors Light and Millers Light.
Another ad, which aired during the third quarter, showed characters getting haircuts while discussing beer ingredients. The main takeaway of all three: Coors Light and Miller Light use corn syrup to brew their beer; Bud Light doesn’t.
The first ad immediately (and somewhat unsurprisingly) prompted some less-than-happy responses from the aforementioned brands. MillerCoors, the parent company of Miller Light and Coors Light, put out a statement decrying the ad and slamming Anheuser-Busch for having high-fructose corn syrup in its products.
“At MillerCoors, we’re proud of our high-quality, great-tasting beers,” MillerCoors’ official Twitter account posted on Sunday night. “We’re also proud that none of our products include any high-fructose corn syrup, while a number of Anheuser-Busch products do. And Miller Lite has fewer calories, fewer carbs and more taste than Bud Light.”
The National Corn Growers Association, an agricultural lobbying group, also slammed Bud Light for denouncing corn syrup.
“America’s corn farmers are disappointed in you,” the association’s Twitter account tweeted Sunday. “Our office is right down the road! We would love to discuss with you the many benefits of corn!”
The NCGA also thanked Miller Light and Coors Light for “supporting our industry.”
It remains to be seen which organization might come out on top of the back-and-forth, but as Alabama Media Group sports reporter Mark Heim tweeted: “This might be more exciting than the game.”