Product placement has become a (fairly) accepted practice in television, but that doesn’t mean it has lost its power to shock. During Saturday’s edition of SNL, a MacGruber skit played like a veritable commercial for Pepsi. And just so you know, it was; an NBC insider confirmed that Pepsi ponied up some cash for the prime real estate in late night (Pepsi is also advertising during the Super Bowl on NBC and sponsored the concert Thursday in Tampa’s Ford Amphitheater that served as a kickoff to the big game).
Though integrating sponsors into the net’s popular late night show should certainly represent a feather in the cap for NBC Entertainment Co-Chair Ben Silverman (whose mandate has long been to find new revenue streams for the ailing net), such practices remain a bone of contention among Hollywood unions like SAG. In fact, the actors want to benefit financially from product placement in their next contract with the conglomerates, along with the power to say no to, like, holding a can of Pepsi in a movie or TV series. The actors, by the way, have yet to sign that new deal, but let us not digress. Check out part three of last night’s skit below.
Update: The MacGruber skitvertisement also ran as a stand-alone ad during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.