Two of the most beloved NFL legends in history are Peyton Manning and Emmitt Smith.
Manning is the lovable, “aw shucks” goofball who just happens to have a government supercomputer for a human brain (at least when it comes to quarterbacking), and has won multiple Super Bowls and multiple league MVP awards while playing for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.
Smith, meanwhile, was the workhorse running back of America’s Team — the Dallas Cowboys — during the franchise’s dynastic run in the mid-1990s (and also turned out to be a fine actor, at least based on his recurring role as himself on beloved sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”)
You’d be hard-pressed to find two NFL icons with generally higher favorability ratings than Manning and Smith.
It would take a truly toxic property to get people to sour on those two.
Enter: Bud Light.
The embattled beer brand and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, have been fighting a losing public relations battle ever since it briefly partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney back in April.
The company has been working overtime since then to win back fans — and to a certain degree, it’s worked.
Most recently, Bud Light partnered with UFC, which probably has the largest concentration of “conservative” sports fans of any of the major professional sports league.
First, here’s the latest Bud Light stunt involving (assuredly highly paid) celebrities:
Ordering a round of Bud Light’s never looked easier to enjoy, thanks to Peyton Manning & Emmitt Smith
— Bud Light (@budlight) December 1, 2023
The 60-second ad, which basically showed Manning and Smith tossing around and enjoying cans of Bud Light with a bar, isn’t anything noteworthy in and of itself.
But looking at the comments? It’s clear that the advertisement did not stick the landing.
Still not drinking
— Westcoastnats4 (@westcoastnats4) December 1, 2023
“Still not drinking,” one X user posted.
Bud Light actually responded to that post, posting: “When you change your mind, we’ll have a cold one ready for you.”
That response was promptly eviscerated in the comments, as angry former fans made it clear that their minds won’t be changing.
You’ll have beer waiting that *we* have to purchase, but no apology—which would cost you NOTHING—for how you treated your customer base?
…but we *do* know there is a cost, don’t we? You sold yourselves out.
— Doing what I can (@Erick_7527) December 1, 2023
You could give it to me for free & I still won’t drink it.
Yuengling Lager is my go to brand.
Go woke, go broke.
— Mark Ianni (@RockSteady270) December 3, 2023
This is really simple to fix, but I guess you’ve chosen your hill. Bye, BL.
— Mike Jones 🦘🤿🐊😱 (@MikemanCommeth) December 3, 2023
At this point, it’s not clear what Bud Light can do — if anything — to win back the fans it lost.
The outcome that Bud Light is clearly banking on is that people will eventually forget, if not forgive, the beer conglomerate after an ample enough passage of time and inundation with celebrity-filled ads.
They may, or may not, eventually be proven correct… but in the meantime, it’s clear that nobody wants to be associated with the beer brand, no matter how many Super Bowl champions the beleaguered beer brand wants to throw out there.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.