Ever since its inception, Saturday Night Live has been toying with the conventions of commercials, producing parody spots and airing them in the same slots that “real” commercials would fill on other programs. However, in a move that New York Times advertising columnist Stuart Elliott says “may turn out to be one of the most audacious plays in the history of product placement,” SNL aired a series of three Pepsi-sponsored “MacGruber” sketchmercials this weekend (one of which aired during the Super Bowl). This was a bold line for Lorne Michaels to cross, but fortunately for him, the spots which starred Will Forte and Kristen Wiig and featured a cameo from none other than MacGyver himself, Richard Dean Anderson were just as hilarious and well-executed as any of the other entries in the ongoing “MacGruber” series. There’s no word yet on how or when this partnership came to fruition, what kind of money changed hands, and whether we’ll be seeing something similar again on SNL, but one thing is certain: These spots have Ben Silverman’s advertiser-friendly fingerprints all over them.
Spot 1 of 3: MacGruber meets MacGyver (with a cameo from Pepsi):