Bud Light, the beer brand plagued by controversy following its endorsement deal with flamboyant trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney, came under fire on social media for a commercial that aired during the NFL draft.
The countrified ad features girls in the rain drinking Bud Light as Zac Brown’s song “Chicken Fried” plays in the background. Critics have called the video “pure pandering” and “patronizing.”
Zach Dean of Outkick criticized the ad, saying, “You don’t get to just play one of the most American songs of my time, have a couple cowgirls run around in the rain and assume you’ve fixed everything. Don’t patronize us. We’re not dumb.” Other social media users shared similar views, with some suggesting that the ad aimed to lure back customers following the recent public relations debacle.
Bud Light’s sales have reportedly plummeted 17% and 21% in volume in the past week following Mulvaney’s promotion of the partnership with the brand on Instagram. Mulvaney, a male who identifies as a woman, claimed to celebrate “day 365 of womanhood” and praised Bud Light for sending him a can with his face on it.
Following the controversy, the company has put two marketing executives behind the Mulvaney deal on notice. Despite the backlash, the recent Bud Light commercial aired during the NFL draft has garnered another 10 million views on YouTube. However, comments on the video have been turned off.