SNL’s Dunkin’ Donuts Spoof Underscores Facebook’s Lingering Problem With Piracy

Ripped-off clip racked up 2.4 million views in 2 days

Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Saturday Night Live has become notorious in recent years for its spoofs of brands that are often almost too realistic.

In its latest parody, SNL host and Massachusetts native Casey Affleck took on Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin' Donuts, playing one of the chain's "real" everyman customers. And as Business Insider pointed out, the fake commercial signals Dunkin's bigger branding issues as it looks to expand outside of the East Coast.

But the spot is also another example of Facebook's ongoing freebooting—the process of stealing and reposting videos— and piracy problems, according to data from analytics company Canvs.

After airing on TV Saturday night, SNL posted the video to its YouTube account, where it's received 2.9 million views and 1,700 comments since Sunday. But interestingly, the show did not post the full version of the clip to its Facebook Page, even though it's getting big buzz on the social network from a version uploaded by an account called Masshole bored'UM that posts funny content about Massachusetts and New England and has 185,000 followers.

Masshole bored'UM also posted the video on Sunday, racking up 2.4 million views, more than 20,000 reactions and 42,000 comments.

To be clear, the two platforms count views differently. On YouTube, a view counts as 30 seconds, and a Facebook view (that is not an ad) counts as three seconds. But SNL's clip shows how big of a problem ripped-off video remains on Facebook for publishers and creators.

Canvs then dug into 1,468 comments that contained emotional responses—1,120 on Facebook and 348 on YouTube—for both clips. On both platforms, "love" was the buzziest emotion, making up 25.9 percent of all emotional responses on YouTube and 36.5 percent on Facebook. "Funny" was also a top emotion, accounting for 20.1 percent of emotional reaction on YouTube and 36.2 percent on Facebook. Posts linked with "enjoy" made up 10.1 percent of YouTube comments and 6.5 percent of Facebook comments.

Watch the fake commercial below:

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.
Publish date: December 20, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT