It was hard to ignore the political undertones of many of the commercials during the Super Bowl this year. And for the most part, people were happy to see the ideals of inclusivity and multiculturalism being championed on prime-time (which sadly translates to being anti-Trump because of how extreme he is). But, let's not forget that the reason we create ads is to improve the public's sentiment towards a brand and encourage them to buy more crap. In SNL's "The Pitch" sketch they tackle that duality and try to answer the question of whether it's a moral issue to use the tragic story of a Mexican immigrant to sell more Cheetos.
Host Alec Baldwin and Aidy Bryant play two ad executives from an agency who are trying to impress executives at Cheetos following the Super Bowl. They came to the corner office meeting dressed in all black, while their competition, two representatives from another ad agency (Kyle Mooney and Melissa Villaseñor) look hokey in business casual. Each agency is given a chance to pitch their commercial idea, and they do so, complete with background music to set the mood and microphones. The difference is: Bryant and Baldwin are crafting narratives that read more like speeches former President Obama would have given. They're over-wrought narratives on the American story, the immigrant story, the story of diversity and acceptance, of being othered—the list goes on. It seems like an insane fit for a Cheetos commercial, but the Cheeto execs are very into it. After all, it's hip for brands to be into politics these days, right?
As the pitch goes on, it's clear that Baldwin and Bryant become the clear favorites of the Cheeto executives, while the other duo keeps falling flat by pitching fun kid-centric commercial ideas. At one point, after Baldwin and Bryant have pitched a commercial that specifically focuses on Chester the Cheetah, in which he's undergone surgery to become a female cheetah and is coming out as trans. When they finish the pitch, one of the Cheeto execs, while holding back tears, responds, "wow I am absolutely starving for a Cheeto right now."
This sketch takes brands to task for attempting to align themselves with messages that have nothing to do with their product, and reminds us that at the end of the day, all these corporate behemoths care about is trying to sell more product. After all, when was the last time Cheetos helped an undocumented immigrant family settle in the U.S.?