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After Dylan Mulvaney backlash, Bud Light releases "grunts" ad with Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce

Anheuser-Busch CEO on Dylan Mulvaney backlash
Anheuser-Busch CEO: Bud Light should be bringing people together 07:52

Bud Light is reverting to a male-focused tack in its advertising strategy, rolling out a new ad featuring Kansas City Chiefs' tight end Travis Kelce. The retro ad comes in the wake of ongoing conservative backlash related to the beer brand's marketing campaign earlier this year with transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney.

Called "Backyard Grunts with Travis Kelce," the commercial features the football player dressed in casual summer attire among other similarly dressed men as they settle into lawn chairs with grunts and groans. Some of them pop open cans of Bud Light once comfortably sprawled in their seat. 

Backyard Grunts with Travis Kelce | Bud Light by Bud Light on YouTube

The latest ad, released on Sunday, comes as parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev is seeking to regain its footing after Bud Light sales plunged in May, dethroning the beer from its longtime position as America's best-selling brew. The brand faced a boycott from some drinkers following a promotion debacle with Mulvaney, with some conservatives objecting to the marketing push featuring a trans woman. 

Brendan Whitworth, the CEO of Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI), told "CBS Mornings" last month that the company is sending financial assistance to distributors and wholesalers affected by the dip in sales since Mulvaney's Bud Light promo video went viral. 

"Good times, goodwill"

He added that Anheuser-Busch plans to triple its investment in Bud Light this year as the company launches its upcoming summer campaign and prepares for the upcoming NFL season. 

"Over the last month we've talked to over 100,000 consumers and their feedback is very clear. What is it? The feedback is to reinforce what Bud Light has always meant to them, which is good times, goodwill, and easy enjoyment," he said. 

The latest ad attempts to do that, by showing middle-aged men as they relax at backyard parties, near their cars and so on. But it's unclear whether it can help win back conservative drinkers who are now snubbing the beer in favor of other brands, with many of the comments on the YouTube video's page falling into the critical or negative camp. 

The ad also makes no attempt to make peace with the LGBTQ community, members of whom have also boycotted the beer.

"It was absolutely an easy decision," Mark Robertson, co-owner of 2Bears Tavern Group in Chicago, in reference to his choice to remove all Anheuser Busch InBev products from the bar's menu, told CBS Chicago. "They kept re-doubling their efforts to bow down to those who were spewing hate."

Last week, Mulvaney spoke out about the controversy, saying that Bud Light failed to support her or even reach out after the backlash, which stemmed from a promo video she posted featuring a personalized beer can sent to her by Bud Light.

"For a company to hire a trans person and then not publicly stand by them is worse, in my opinion, than not hiring a trans person at all," Mulvaney said in a video on Thursday. "It gives customers permission to be as transphobic and hateful as they want."

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