In a very funny Saturday Night Live sketch (and episode) this weekend, Harry Styles and Bowen Yang teamed up to destroy Sara Lee’s social media brand, with Styles’s hapless employee turning its Instagram into meditations on lonely threesomes and Yang’s supervisor uploading a photo of himself at a harness party to the account. It was a great skit (and probably a Julio Torres/Yang production), though it sparked some online speculation that it was another one of SNL’s weird branded content bullshit. Based on what happened next, though, it seems that was not the case.
Indeed, as the New York Post reports, Sara Lee’s Instagram has since been flooded with some of the fictional captions Styles’s lovelorn social media coordinator “posted”—which, if you haven’t seen the sketch (watch at the bottom of this blog post), included gems like “Feeling really depressed after threesome. What was supposed to be a fantasy ended up more rejection. Must get rid of toxic in community,”and posting “WRECK ME DADDY” and a bunch of eggplant emojis ramming a ghost on Nick Jonas’s account. Passionate fans have since made SNL’s vision a reality:
According to Slate, the company’s social media accounts were so inundated with comments they ended up turning them off on Instagram altogether. (Slate blames this on censorship; a more charitable reading might an attempt to spare the real social media managers a really difficult work day.) As of Sunday night, the comments were back on and the bit was ongoing, which is a win for free speech:
Meanwhile, Bimbo Bakeries USA, which owns Sara Lee, addressed the sketch, noting that the brand didn’t pay for it (an earlier Popeye’s sketch about The Sandwich, on the other hand, still reads like branded content) and doesn’t exactly condone it. “We didn’t participate in creating the skit and its content doesn’t align with Sara Lee Bread’s brand,” they told both the New York Post and Slate in a statement. Still, press is press: “But, we all know SNL pushes the envelope for laughs and we are taking it in stride.”