If you’ve ever been stuck on the phone with a customer service rep, you know how annoying it can be. But Miles Teller and Bud light have come up with a way to make the waiting game a little less painful. In a new 30-second ad, the actor and his wife Keleigh Sperry turn the frustrating experience of being on hold into a small dance party and some beer-drinking.
The pair are also able to turn the nonsensical music on hold into a little entertainment as they crack open their can of Bud light customer service and start dancing. Their antics are met with some disbelief from the person on the other end of the line, and even a little bit of frustration. But then, the caller finally gets some assistance and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.
Bud light is trying to break out of its comfort zone with the campaign, which is designed to appeal to millennials and other younger consumers. The brand has long used frat-boy humor and other raucous campaigns to distinguish itself from the pack, but the company is shifting its marketing strategy in an attempt to court more upscale drinkers.
Its move to embrace the LGBTQ community is part of that effort. But the campaign has sparked backlash among conservatives who accuse the brand of going too far and turning to “woke” advertising.
In the wake of the controversy, Anheuser-Busch shook up its marketing team and issued a statement trying to tamp down the animosity. But the company’s stock has fallen and bars and wholesalers have reported a drop in sales for Bud light.
Despite the backlash, Bud light is sticking with its partnership with Mulvaney, who has a large following on TikTok and Instagram. The beer maker has a series of sponsored Instagram posts with the influencer in which she celebrates her transition and her accomplishments, including participating in March Madness contests. It has also sent her a can of Bud light with her face on it.
But Bud light has also been working to broaden its appeal to LGBTQ consumers, including releasing special non-binary cans for Pride Month. And it has been making donations to LGBTQ organizations.
In a conference call with investors last week, Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris dismissed calls for a boycott and said the company was supporting delivery drivers, sales representatives, and distributors who have been hurt by declining Bud light sales. Doukeris also denied any connection between the Dylan Mulvaney controversy and the stock decline, saying that the single can given to the influencer wasn’t a formal campaign and wasn’t available for sale to the general public.
While some boycott threats have been floated, experts CNN spoke to have predicted that the ad controversy will blow over, much like Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign did in 2018. But the company is also facing competition from hard seltzer and other craft brews that are targeting the same young, liberal consumer base as Bud light.