The Lonely Island—SNL’s Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone—shot SNL into the digital age when its videos first went viral in 2007. Since then, several of the digital shorts, including the charmingly named “Dick in a Box” and “Jizz in My Pants,” have made it onto YouTube’s list of the 50 most-watched videos of all time.
In November last year, they released “Dream,” a short on YouTube for Rokk Vodka parodying Calvin Klein’s consumer porn ads for “Obsession” and “Eternity.” The gist: a beautiful woman dreams of fame and fortune, embodied by Taccone posing with Ferrari and mansion, Schaffer dodging paparazzi, and Samberg in Fabio mode, preening in the surf. So far, it has almost 2 million views, and another Rokk branded-content video is in the works.
Adam Rosen, brand director of vodka at Diageo—owner of the Swedish brand—sought out the trio through United Talent Agency, which represents the troupe, and signed them to a profit-sharing, multi-year contract. “It wasn’t going to be Andy Samberg’s Vodka,” Rosen says. “They’re instrumental in leading Rokk’s direction.”
We asked The Lonely Islanders, via email, some questions about their new career track.
Adweek: Why become admen? Is it your moms—did they want you to get real jobs?
The Lonely Island: As anyone who watches Mad Men knows, admen are super cool. They are extremely handsome, tall, and tortured by their pasts, which is exactly who we are as well.
Are viral videos better than commercials?
Viral means “wildly popular,” so, yes, a wildly popular video would be better than a regular commercial.
Are you really brand “creatives,” or is that a schtick?
We are really creative directors. We direct the creative by saying things like, “Let’s run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it!” and “Get me that mimeograph of the Johnson files!” But honestly, they gave us a lot of creative freedom, which is awesome.
Why Rokk Vodka?
Because it tastes great and it’s less filling. Also, it won’t hurt your pocketbook, so you can save up for that yoga mat you were thinking about buying.
If you were asked to write a Rokk Vodka jingle, how would it go?
(To the tune of “Ye Olde Jester”) “Rokk Vodka drink, aye, aye/Drink it with your mouth, oy, oy.”
Are you a threat to Madison Avenue or a friend?
Madison Avenue is a great friend. Just last week it gave us a ride to the airport. Talk about generous!
Will you take on more clients?
We’re open to working with other brands in the future, but have no plans.
Have you considered a Rokk in a Box?
Only if people would drink it responsibly.