Measuring the influence of “corntroversy”

If you have any sort of social media presence you’ve probably been clued into the feud between Bud Light and Corn Twitter.  

Look East_Blog_Issue vs. CrisisIf you aren’t aware, Bud Light aired commercials during the biggest football game of the year that made a few digs at their competitors for brewing their beer with corn syrup. 

Unfortunately, for Bud Light, they didn’t realize they were picking a fight with corn farmers and associations. With quick responses from National Corn GrowersIowa CornKansas Corn, and eventually Miller Lite, the #corntroversy blew up pretty quickly.  

In any case, we learned 3 things from this exchange: 

  1. Media monitoring – a valuable part of your strategy is knowing what your stakeholders are saying about you. 
  2. Respond quickly – time is of the essence in times of high media engagement. If your message isn’t out quickly, it could get lost in the noise.  
  3. Social Media – It must be part of your communication and marketing strategy 

The two highest reaching tweets both mention farmer backlash toward the brand. 

Top corn twitter tweets

In one week, there were nearly 23,000 social media posts and more than 2,000 traditional media articles regarding the kerfuffle. Half of those posts were in the first 24 hours of the commercial airing.  

Media count for Corn Twitter-1

Not only are there so many posts about the topic, but people are interested in keeping the conversation alive. Social impressions are slightly less than 300 million views and traditional media has seen more than 3.84 billion impressions on their 2,481 articles regarding Bud Light and corn – in just one week.  

 Corn Twitter_Traditional impressions

In Social and Traditional trending themes, we can see what keywords top the post count by their size. Traditional media cited the statement from National Corn Growers Association, while Twitter wanted to see a Venn diagram of beer drinkers that care about corn syrup in their beverage of choice. 

Corn Twitter Themes traditional-1 Corn Twitter Themes Social-1

In instances like these, media monitoring can help organizations see what is buzzing about a topic or brand. Media monitoring can be useful in crisis preparedness and crisis response situations, as it serves as a listening ear on behalf of the organization. In the case of corn twitter, we were able to see the change in messaging from beer companies throughout the week based on stakeholder response throughout the week.   


Miller LiteBud LightCoors