Amidst a wave of recent controversies surrounding beer marketing, Miller Lite finds itself at the center of a new storm. Conservatives in the United States are expressing their discontent over a Miller Lite advertisement that addresses sexism and features a woman. Interestingly, this outrage seems to have been triggered by the fact that the ad was aired before Bud Light’s collaboration with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
The backlash against Miller Lite comes on the heels of a six-week period filled with online beer-related controversies. It all began when TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney shared a video titled ‘March Madness’ on her Instagram account on April 1st. To commemorate her one-year public transition, Bud Light sent her a personalized beer can. However, the worst aspects of the internet soon revealed themselves.
MAGA-supporters, including occasional musician Kid Rock, vented their anger by destroying boxes of Bud Light, while enraged conservatives smashed beers in Walmarts across the country. Bomb threats were even directed at Budweiser factories nationwide. Social media platforms became breeding grounds for transphobic hate, with conservative commentators dedicating hours to dissecting Mulvaney’s 47-second Instagram video. In response to the overwhelming negativity, the influential figure decided to take a step back from her channels, expressing her well-being and sharing the benefits of embracing one’s emotions.
Now, the conservative sphere has shifted its focus to a new target: Miller Lite. The beer brand launched an ad campaign on March 7th, coinciding with Women’s History Month. The campaign features queer Broad City star Illana Glazer and encourages people to submit sexist beer ads for transformation into fertilizers. Simultaneously, the campaign takes aim at Miller Lite’s own history of sexist marketing. As part of the “Bad $#!t to Good $#!t” initiative, Miller Lite, a subsidiary of Canadian-American drinks multinational Molson Coors, donates the resulting fertilizers to female brewers who utilize them to cultivate hops for beer production.
Predictably, notable conservative figures such as Piers Morgan, Megyn Kelly, and Joe Rogan chimed in, dedicating segments of their shows to debate this so-called “issue.” Tomi Lahren, a conservative presenter and Fox News commentator, expressed her dissatisfaction with the Miller Lite ad on social media, stating, “No no no no no! Miller Lite is my beer! Who is running these companies?! Bad bad move.” Meanwhile, right-wing comedian Sam Tripoli posted a bizarre video rant, intertwining his objections to the ad with unrelated subjects like OnlyFans.
Social media users exhibited a lack of awareness regarding the ad’s timing, with some expressing shock and dismay as if it were just released. One perplexed user wrote, “Did NOBODY learn from Bud Light’s COSTLY mistake? Miller Lite just dropped this WOKE advertisement!!! When will these beer companies learn????” However, readers were quick to provide helpful context and clarify the timeline.
Even conservative news site The Daily Wire appeared somewhat confused about the chronology of the Miller Lite campaign. Omar Rivero, the founder of Occupy Democrats, took the opportunity to mock the conservative outrage, highlighting how Republican “snowflakes” have become a parody of themselves.
As the controversy unfolds, one can’t help but wonder which beer brand will be the next target to ignite the ire of right-wing critics. In an ever-evolving societal landscape, it remains crucial for companies to navigate the intersection of marketing, inclusivity, and public opinion with grace and sensitivity.