SNL’s Vanessa Bayer Gives Sound Advice for Hyundai

IFC-licensed Web series pokes fun at native ads

Vanessa Bayer, the Saturday Night Live actress famously known for her impressions of Miley Cyrus, is teaming up with Hyundai to impart some unnecessary advice to musicians.

In her Web series Sound Advice, Bayer plays aloof media coach Janessa Slater, who consults with celebrity clients like Drake, HAIM and TV on the Radio. Above Average is the digital arm of SNL production company Broadway Video, and it licensed the new 12-episode second season to IFC's online comedy portal, the Comedy Crib. IFC and Above Average then worked with exclusive sponsor Hyundai and its agency of record, Innocean USA, to create branded integrations both in the Web series and in 60-second TV spots that will tease the show. 

"We can slap our logo on just about everything, but what we are looking for are these deeper opportunities," Hyundai director of marketing communications David Matathia said. "So much of advertising is about disrupting people and their experience."

It's clear from the clips that the car manufacturer is OK with poking fun of native advertising. Some of the pre-roll spots revolve around product integration planning sessions. In one gag, Slater mistakenly believes if she keeps repeating the Hyundai Veloster name, she'll get paid more. Matathia said when Hyundai is woven into the episodes, Slater overemphasizes the product placement in a tongue-in-cheek way. 

"With native, you're trying to be more complementary," Matathia said. "We've got some shared characteristics with this content. There's some alignment there, and we want to say we're a brand worth checking out."

Colin Moore, IFC vp of digital media and alternative content, said the Comedy Crib will launch more of these brand partnerships. He said Sound Advice is an example of how the network could be flexible with marketers and help promote their content in premium locations, both online and on air.

"We've created a home for easily digestable funny stuff, and part of what we can do with this is be a place for people who have ideas or for people who have made a series to partner with," Moore said. "We can work together to make more of it and help sell it. It can be a destination for a partnership with a content maker."

Each episode will exclusively debut on the Comedy Crib for one week starting today, and then episodes will be available on both the IFC and the Above Average site. Watch the Season 2 premiere featuring "Weird Al" Yankovic below.