WWTT? Bud Light Won’t Give Up the ‘Corn Syrup’ Bit

The “Corn War” has been going on since the Super Bowl, when Bud Light used its very expensive air time during the Big Game to call out its competition for using corn syrup in their beers. And the brewer doesn’t show signs of stopping, despite a judge’s ruling.

The “Corn War” has been going on since the Super Bowl, when Bud Light used its very expensive air time during the Big Game to call out its competition — Miller Lite and Coors Lite — for using corn syrup in their beers.

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The back and forth between the brewers escalated,with MillerCoors parrying Bud Light’s attacks, but decided enough was enough in March and sued Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, alleging the ads are false and misleading.

In late May, a Wisconsin judge ordered AB InBev to stop advertising that MillerCoors’ light beers contain corn syrup, though the order does not affect all of Bud Light’s advertising — it was ruled that the “Special Delivery” ads premiered during the Super Bowl could keep airing. According to the preliminary injunction granted by U.S. District Judge William Conley for the Western District of Wisconsin granted, AB InBev would be temporarily prevented from using the term “corn syrup” without providing more context in ads.

MillerCoors was pleased with the initial ruling, and on Sept. 4 Judge Conley modified the ruling. The court stated:

“Following additional briefing and factual submissions by the parties, the court will now modify its preliminary injunction to cover packaging, but will allow defendant to sell products using the packaging it had on hand as of June 6, 2019, or until March 2, 2020.”

But none of this has really stopped Bud Light, since the brewer has new 15-second ads ready for the start of football season.

https://youtu.be/kyzXk4U7GiM

While the “brewed with no corn syrup” statement is still made, it’s a bit more subtle than in the past. AB InBev is appealing the judge’s ruling, but seems to have thrown caution to the wind with the new ads.

What do you think marketers? Are you sick and tired of the Corn War, twitching whenever you hear “corn syrup” or are you sitting back and enjoying as the Big 3 breweries fight it out while craft breweries continue to focus on brewing quality, quaffable beverages? Let me know in the comments below!

WWTT? Miller Lite Launches the ‘Cantroller’ During E3

Miller Lite announced a new tech item: the Cantroller. It won’t improve your beer drinking experience per se, but it will definitely be a conversation starter when you have friends over for pizza and video games.

This week, Miller Lite announced a new tech item: the Cantroller. It won’t improve your beer drinking experience per se, but it will definitely be a conversation starter when you have friends over for pizza and video games.

Yes. We now have the Cantroller, just in time for E3 — THE event for video and computer gaming. This is the time of year when video game publishers debut new games, hardware manufacturers unveil new tech, and game enthusiasts drink it all in. And because of Miller Lite’s latest innovation, you can drink directly from your controller (though they don’t really recommend it).

This innovation comes approximately 3 months after sister brand Coors Light revealed the “Smart” tap handle in select cities, and according Justine Stauffer, senior manager on Miller Lite, the Cantroller is an attempt to connect with gamers. She’s quoted on the MillerCoors blog as saying:

“With some 40% of gamers already drinking beer while they play, we’re taking it to the next level by offering them a fun way to enjoy Miller Lite while they play their favorite games.  Miller Lite is a fan of gaming of all kinds, and the launch of the Cantroller is another way we’re connecting with the gaming community.”

Speaking for myself, I’m pretty sure I don’t need beer in my video game controller … I’m already pretty subpar at Tricky Towers as it is.

Miller Lite partnered with tech firm Unity 9 to produce the controllers, which can be chilled to make the beer enjoyable, while also being equipped with Blue Tooth and a rechargeable battery that can hold a charge for 3 hours. And again. It’s a beer can.

I am both a bit amazed and mystified at this. I tried to find some numbers on how many gamers drink lite beer and came up empty, and typically gamers are associated with energy drinks moreso than alcohol. The reason being that many dedicated gamers log in multiple hours, and they want their senses sharp — not dulled by alcohol. But, more casual gamers who also consume alcohol might very well reach for a beer, lite or otherwise, so this promotional product is not entirely out of line.

The creation of the Cantroller also lines up with what the brewer has been setting up over the past year, beginning with becoming the first alcoholic beverage sponsor of HQ Trivia’s trivia event, sending influencers swag, hosting Twitch happy hours, and even setting up a strategic partnership with Complexity Gaming, announced last month.

And specifically for E3, Miller Lite fans can challenge comedian Eric Andre to a game of Street Fighter for the chance to win their own Cantroller. While spots are limited, the event will be broadcast on Miller Lite’s Twitch stream … yes, it seems like the lite beer maker has really lined everything up to make its presence known to the gaming community, and to possibly cement it as the beverage of choice.

https://twitter.com/ericandre/status/1138139890523222017

Yet here’s my question: Will the money spent on this tech be worth it? Marketers, tell me what you think in the comments, and if you have a moment and want to get into the full nerdery of this, check out Popular Mechanic’s review of the Cantroller.