Musician, actor, and One Direction member Harry Styles returned to Saturday Night Live this week to serve as both host and musical guest. The highlight was this sketch, in which Styles does irreparable damage to the brand identity of Sara Lee bread while managing their official Instagram account. Sara Lee, of course, is one of America’s favorite bread and sweet baked goods brands, a division of Bimbo Bakeries USA, which is itself a division of Grupo Bimbo, S.A.B. de C.V. Whatever you think of their cheesecake or their corporate structure, Grupo Bimbo’s sketch comedy turns out to be pretty great:
First of all, the idea that Sara Lee executives have courtesy plates of Sara Lee® Classic White Bread on their conference tables is a nice visual gag that works because no one in the sketch acknowledges it. Second of all, regardless of whether or not this sketch is product placement, RIP Sara Lee Bread’s official Instagram account. It turns that out Sara Lee Bread does tweet out pictures of grilled cheese sandwiches, but Harry Styles doesn’t work there, nor does the beloved baked goods brand write captions about post-threesome regrets. Here’s the complete text of a genuine Sara Lee Bread Instagram post:
🧀 on the inside, 🧀 on the outside. #saralee #saraleebread #artesanobread #grilledcheese #grilledcheesemonth #nationalgrilledcheesemonth #carpese #parmesan #tomato #mozzarella #delicious #nomnom #goodfood #igfood #instafood #instagood #instaeats #igeats #foodgoals #goodeats #instayum #foodie #getinmybelly #recipe #yum #digin #tasty #foodgram #goals
And here is another:
This breakfast grilled cheese is nothing short of egg-cellent 😉. #saralee #saraleebread #grilledcheese #grilledcheesemonth #nationalgrilledcheesemonth #cheesy #egg #favorite #delicious #nomnom #goodfood #igfood #instafood #instagood #instaeats #igeats #foodgoals #goodeats #instayum #foodie #getinmybelly #recipe #yum #digin #tasty #foodgram #goals
Honestly, they might do better to hire Harry Styles, or at least the guy he played in this sketch #instayum #foodie #nomnom #goals. But when the official Instagram account of Sara Lee Bread brand stands down, Saturday Night Live viewers step up, as the comments on every recent post from the official Sara Lee account demonstrate:
Must get rid of toxic in community!
Update, Nov. 17, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.: Apparently the social media team at Sara Lee Bread was neither prepared for nor pleased by the onslaught of “🍆🍆🍆💦🚂👻” Instagram comments prompted by this sketch. Visiting the Instagram post pictured above reveals that user vanessarodriguezmclean’s thoughts about Sara Lee Texas toast (“🍆🍆🍆💦🚂👻”) have been removed, as have user hails_ski’s (“A little moody after being used …”.) However, anya.blinchick’s opinion (“WRECK ME DADDY”) still made the cut, and this reporter was able to share his candid opinion of a brunch casserole made with Sara Lee Butter Bread (“Must get rid of toxic in community”), at least temporarily. SNL writer Bowen Yang, who co-wrote the sketch with noted favorite-shape-haver Julio Torres, noticed, and isn’t thrilled:
Sara Lee Breads, Bimbo Bakeries USA, and Grupo Bimbo, S.A.B. de C.V. must answer for this or risk getting a reputation as the Great Hill Partners of the multinational bakery product manufacturing industry. The Sara Lee bread Instagram page has been the internet’s most trusted forum for leaving comments that read “🍆🍆🍆💦🚂👻” for hours, but now the suits are shutting it all down. It seems worth noting here that this new comment policy is arbitrary and does not seem to stem from an overarching mission to protect the Sara Lee brand from the reputational damage that might be caused by an Instagram comment reading, “🍆🍆🍆💦🚂👻.” Here, for example, are some of the still-extant comments on a video of maple syrup pouring over a stack of French Toast made with new Sara Lee® Artesano Brioche. Apparently Sara Lee had posted a slightly different version of the video in the past:
I’ll say it again: Must get rid of toxic in community!
Update, Nov. 17, 2019 at 5:45 p.m.: A spokesperson from Sara Lee Bread provided the following statement about the sketch:
We didn’t participate in creating the skit and its content doesn’t align with Sara Lee Bread’s brand. But, we all know SNL pushes the envelope for laughs and we are taking it in stride.