Bud Light, in an effort to win back conservative consumers, has released a new advertisement featuring Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce and a group of less athletic men. The commercial, titled “Backyard Grunts,” premiered just before the Fourth of July holiday, with the aim of reversing the months-long decline in sales that Bud Light has been experiencing. The brand faced backlash earlier this year for partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
The 15-second spot showcases various backyard gatherings and does not include any dialogue except for grunts, sighs, and Kelce saying “yeah.” Interestingly, Kelce, who stands at six-foot-five and weighs 250 pounds, is never seen touching or tasting the beer that is being advertised in the commercial.
Anheuser-Busch US CEO Brendan Whitworth recently avoided answering a question about whether the promotion with Mulvaney was a “mistake” or not. He emphasized the importance of understanding consumer preferences and expectations, without offering a clear stance on the issue.
Mulvaney, on the other hand, spoke out after the controversy and revealed that Bud Light representatives never reached out to her during the aftermath of the partnership backlash. She expressed disappointment, stating that when a company hires a transgender individual but fails to publicly support them, it allows customers to freely express homophobic and transphobic sentiments.
The decline in Bud Light’s sales has led to Modelo Especial, a Mexican import, surpassing it as the top-selling beer in America. In response, Anheuser-Busch has tripled its spending on Bud Light advertising. Earlier this year, Whitworth addressed the falling sales and announced the company’s commitment to mitigating the impact on employees and independent distributors. He also emphasized that Bud Light’s summer advertising strategy will reinforce the brand’s longstanding appeal as an easy-to-drink and enjoyable beer.
The release of the “Backyard Grunts” ad with Travis Kelce signifies Bud Light’s attempt to recapture the conservative market and revitalize its sales. By featuring a popular football player and showcasing traditionally masculine characters, the brand hopes to resonate with its target audience. However, the controversy surrounding the partnership with Dylan Mulvaney continues to cast a shadow over Bud Light’s efforts. Consumers and industry observers will be closely watching the reception and impact of this new advertisement on the brand’s sales and reputation.