Julian Assange of WikiLeaks will get you, American marketers!

By T.L. Stanley on Mon Dec 13 2010

Imagine my dad's surprise when he unwraps a copy of Everyone Poops on Christmas morning instead of the Mark Twain autobiography I thought I was buying him from Amaon.com. Damn you, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange! It wasn't really the self-professed outlaw Assange who threatened a bunch of American marketers like Netflix, Facebook and Orbitz. It was his Saturday Night Live doppelganger Bill Hader, who appeared in this skit during the weekend show to promise smug, self-satisfied retaliation from his hacker followers for his current stint in a London jail. Forget Mastercard—not even Farmville is safe! (Actually it is, because Assange/Hader thinks it's odious enough on its own.) Check out the skit above, or the whole Paul Rudd-hosted episode on Hulu or NBC.com, and see why some longtime fans, myself included, keep watching.

Shake Weight infomercial now available for private DVD viewing

Posted on Mon Apr 19 2010

Last August, BrandFreak's T.L. Stanley called the Shake Weight infomercial "the most unintentionally obscene product demo ever" and speculated that "plenty of non-females with no interest in toning their triceps are ogling this clip." Now, Saturday Night Live has also taken note of the, uh, unintended implications of the ad. A fake informercial that aired on last week's show advertises a DVD of the Shake Weight spot for men's private viewing. Personally, I don't understand what everyone's talking about. This looks like a fine way to tone the arms, and it probably does a good job on the hands, too.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

'SNL' makes respectable fake-commercial return with Bladdivan

Posted on Mon Sep 28 2009

There's nothing like a fake commercial on Saturday Night Live to draw attention to a special kind of stage fright and Big Pharma's cheery, side-effect-filled solution to it. In the dead-on parody style the show has mastered over 35 seasons, this weekend's premiere gave us an ad for the fictional Bladdivan, a diuretic/anti-anxiety drug that combats "chronic shy bladder syndrome." A character played by Fred Armisen just can't belly up to a crowded urinal and let go with the other guys. With this medication, he can pee anytime, anywhere (which could be embarrassing, but that's where the sedative part of the chill pill comes in). Armchair critics have pointed to the skit as one of the highlights of an otherwise uneven and lackluster season premiere on Saturday. Hey, don't blame host Megan Fox. She even broke out an exaggerated version of her native Tennessee twang and managed not to drop the F-bomb during a biker-chick skit. That should be worth something. Bladdivan is no Colon Blow, but it's a decent debut for the new season.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Lowe's takes page from 'SNL' script in latest its price message

Posted on Mon May 4 2009

Lowe's is at it again. This time, to prove how low its prices are, it has co-opted Seth Meyers' "Really?" sketch from Saturday Night Live. "Really?" says the couple shopping for floor tiles when they see the prices at Lowe's. Relying on humor, albeit someone else's, is far better than claiming to have the lowest prices—lower than anyone, anywhere, which had been the previous tack. Having a little fun with the pricing jibes with the joyousness of the spring season, when many people are happily looking to fix thing around the house, get organized and get a little dirty landscaping. Still, in these tight times, Lowe's might have to compete with consumers who might simply borrow tools from a neighbor—sort of like Lowe's borrowed the SNL skit. (This is becoming something of a trend. Pepsi crashed the MacGruber skit and aired it during the Super Bowl.) I wonder if Lowe's has to pay Lorne Michaels' writing team royalties? At the very least, each writer should get a $25 gift card so they can buy some mulch.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein



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