Apple and Verizon to run ads as part of 'SNL,' report says

Tech Culture

by Chris Matyszczyk April 7, 2017 3:49 PM PDT @ChrisMatyszczyk

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

In a former life, I once suggested to a very famous beer brand that it should pay David Letterman an inordinate amount of money to mock its beer for a whole show.

Sadly, the marketing executives were worried about the negative potential of this mockery thing.

This, it seems, may not worry Verizon or Apple quite as much.

Variety reports that both brands are working with "Saturday Night Live" to integrate ads into the comedy show's ad breaks. And it's letting the show create those ads.

Apparently, Verizon will be the first to try the format. The experiment could come during either the April 8 or April 15 live shows. Its ad will be written by Colin Jost, one of the mock anchormen in the show's "Weekend Update" segment, and feature cast member Kenan Thompson.

"You can't make fun of it, and be with it simultaneously," Lorne Michaels, the show's long-time executive producer told Variety. "But we have managed to find a model we all think works, and we will see."

You might wonder what "SNL" and NBC will get out of this commercially. It seems that they'd rather the audience watch the show live rather than play YouTube clips the next day. Making the commercial breaks a little more exciting may be one way to do that.

Imagine looking forward to the commercial breaks. For once.

The idea that Apple might be involved is quite delicious. Cupertino has long been known to be entirely controlling about how its brand is seen.

In recent years, however, its advertising hasn't often moved viewers to paroxysms of joy. Even in Apple's own category of phones, the Samsung brand has proved to be far more enticing for web viewers.

Could it be that Apple will allow "SNL" writers to tweak (in both meanings of the verb) perception of the brand?

We'll have to wait and see. Neither Apple nor Verizon responded to a request for comment.

There's one more aspect to consider. "SNL" isn't exactly politically neutral. Its mockery of the president and his entourage has enraged Donald Trump himself. Odd, given that he has hosted the show.

Will some people believe that by aligning themselves so closely with the show's writers, these brands are showing their political skirts? We'll find out.

Really, it's all about impressing the young people, isn't it? If the ads are funny, they'll be shared. If they're shared, they'll be deemed a success. And if they're a success, more brands will line up for the personalized "SNL" treatment.

But if Apple, say, mocked Microsoft in its "SNL" ad, would Microsoft get the "SNL" writers to mock Apple back the following week? Everyone would tune in for that.

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