Jonathan Majors and Heidi Gardner play Jake from State Farm and Flo from Progressive Insurance, respectively. NBC/ YouTube
“Saturday Night Live” tackled the ad industry’s jarring commercials that seem unrelated to the product or service they promote.
Cast members parodied ads like a family drama for Facebook Portal and a testimonial about driving for Amazon.
Facebook and Amazon made up over a third of digital ad revenue in 2021, with the latter focusing in on TV’s $70 billion ad market.
“Saturday Night Live” took a swing at ad culture, poking fun at some digital advertisers’ commercials.
The late night show’s November 13 episode included a sketch depicting a fictional advertising award ceremony, dubbed the “Audacity in Advertising Awards.”
Actor Jonathan Majors and cast member Heidi Gardner, playing notable ad characters Jake from State Farm insurance and Flo from Progressive insurance, respectively, hosted the ceremony celebrating the most “egregious” ads of the year.
“The commercials that make us buy, make us cry, make us shout, ‘How dare you!’ at our TVs,” Majors’ Jake from State Farm says in the skit.
The sketch includes “nominees” based on real commercials.
Gardner’s Flo introduces a video call between a father coming out as gay to his son, which leans heavily into the melodrama of the moment, only to be abruptly undercut as an ad for Facebook Portal. Another ad, unceremoniously introduced by Liberty Mutual’s emu and Doug, played by Alex Moffatt, shows a woman’s testimonial about her desire to become a firefighter after a tragic fire accident – only to make a complete 180, turning into an ad for Amazon where she commends the “flexibility” of going to firefighter school online while driving for Amazon. The ad parallels a popular Amazon video of a man who used Amazon benefits to become registered nurse.
Facebook and Amazon have not yet responded to Insider’s request for comment regarding SNL’s sketch or its recent approach toward advertising.
According to data from eMarketer, Meta (Facebook’s parent company) and Amazon comprised over 35% of digital ad revenue share in 2021, with both company’s shares expected to grow over the next two years. The US spent over $211 billion in ad spending this year due to strong performance from digital ad companies and a significant bump in in ad pricing. Amazon is expected to gain a bigger share of as it turns its attention to the $70 billion TV ad market.
The two companies are no stranger to digs from the late night variety show, with this season’s sketches covering topics like Facebook’s whistleblower senate hearing and the billionaire space race featuring Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
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