'Tangled' up: Movie trailer blurs the line between parody and reality during SNL | WBEZ
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'Tangled' up: Movie trailer blurs the line between parody and reality during SNL

I was watching SNL this weekend and was turned off by a commercial that aired after SNL went to break. It was a commercial for the new Disney movie, "Tangled." But instead of it being the same trailer we've seen in rotation all weekend, it was a parody of a pharmaceutical company ad. They called it "Rapunzhair." Essentially, they created their very own parody commercial during the show that does parody commercials.

I don't have a problem with Disney trying to jazz up their marketing plans with pseudo-funny takes on their product. But to have it broadcast during the only prime-time programming that does honest-to-goodness parodies is borderline suspect.

This summer, a furniture commercial was doing the same thing during Mad Men: dressing up and talking like the characters to sell their stuff. The Walter E. Smithe brothers have made their name with parodying sports and entertainment. But both of these examples weren't as obvious or as sneaky as what we saw on Saturday night. 

As consumers, I think we need to do a better job of letting Hollywood or big corporate interests stay away from this kind of misleading marketing. I really thought it was a parody commercial produced by SNL. Memo to NBC: Don't let advertisers ruin the integrity of your programming.

If you want us to watch your programs and support them through thick & thin, then please have the decency to draw the line and not let advertisers try to dupe us with gimmicks and marketing tricks. I know you are in this to make money and to serve us ads. But at least pretend you're not.


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