“Saturday Night Live” premiered its first original Snapchat show on Friday, and in its coming-out party on the social platform the late-night mainstay has again relied on a Donald Trump trope.
The three-minute short, available exclusively in Snapchat’s app, stars “SNL” cast members Aidy Bryant and Beck Bennett as a New York City couple attempting to boycott products and services associated with Trump. But they discover it’s harder than they thought — and they eventually strip nude in a panic to rid themselves of everything Trump-affiliated.
NBC said “Boycott” is the first in a planned series of “SNL Stories” shorts on Snapchat, but the network didn’t have info on the number or frequency of episodes. “Boycott” will be available for at least 48 hours (through Saturday night) on Snapchat’s Discover section to users worldwide.
NBCUniversal inked a deal with Snapchat last summer to produce original programming for the platform, including shows from the “SNL” team. To date, shows produced for Snapchat have included offshoots for NBC’s “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “The Voice,” as well as ABC’s “The Bachelor.” Snap — eager to prove its media momentum ahead of its IPO expected this spring — has unveiled several new partnerships in the last week, including an unscripted show about couples in crisis from A+E Networks’ 45th and Dean set to hit in April.
This season, “Saturday Night Live” has made spectacular ratings hay out of lampooning Trump both before and after he took over the White House. This week’s installment of “SNL” will be hosted by Alec Baldwin — who has won Trump’s disdain with his recurring role portraying the mogul-turned-politico.
Clearly, by producing bite-size content for Snapchat, NBC is hoping to lure more “SNL” fans to tune in to the live TV program. But NBC and other media companies also see potential incremental revenue from ads that can run against their content on the app, which touts some 158 million daily active users worldwide (an average for the fourth quarter of 2016).
The “Boycott” short was written by “SNL” co-head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, and directed by Paul Briganti. It was produced and edited by the SNL Film Unit specifically for Snapchat’s vertical video orientation and employs split screens as well as audio and video cues that let users tap or swipe to advance to the next “chapter.” Users also can share individual chapters (of about 10-20 seconds each) with their friends or in their Snapchat Story, which stays up for 24 hours. The “Boycott” episode ends with a call-to-action to subscribe to the “SNL” Snapchat channel.
“Boycott” can be accessed in the Snapchat app via this link.
UPDATE: NBC was running interstitial promos for “Powerless,” its new Thursday primetime comedy starring Vanessa Hudgens, in the “Boycott” episode.