brand, culture

Pepsi ads blur the line

Was watching Saturday Night Live last night and saw some Pepsi ads that were based off of what was previously an SNL skit starring Will Forte. There were three ads, all based on the “MacGruber” parody of MacGyver SNL has been running for a while.

The first one had product placement for Pepsi in a small way, by the third one, every word that came out of Will Forte’s mouth was Pepsi. It was totally over the top, completely transparent product placement. And pretty damn funny by the end. I loved it.

My view? A huge win for Pepsi, breaking new product placement ground by co-opting an existing (and funny) Saturday Night Live skit, and being extremely self-aware about product placement and people’s feelings about it. Blew it wide open. Freakin’ hilarious.

For Saturday Night Live? I’m pretty sure the SNL folks woke up on Sunday morning with a bad hangover. Wondering what exactly they’d done, and hoping that no one else remembered either. Maybe Robert Redford was right. Make an indecent proposal with enough money attached, and someone will do anything.

About Chris Grams

Chris Grams is Head of Marketing at Tidelift. He is also the author of The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Successful Brand Positioning in a Digital World.


One thought on “Pepsi ads blur the line

  1. Update: Pepsi is repeating these ads on the Super Bowl tonight… wonder if they bought the full rights to the MacGruber skit, or if SNL will be able to use that skit without Pepsi in the future?

    Posted by cdgrams | February 1, 2009, 9:37 pm

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