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  • Writer's pictureStand-Up Comedy Historian

Bo Burnham and Ads

The Social Brand Consultant bit in the first half of Inside was apparently a harbinger of how quickly major brands would use the popularity of Bo's masterpiece for their own often nefarious purposes.

Because as soon as his special appeared, Bo's wording and content exploded online and the capitalist machine kept rolling along.

As such, here are the times Bo's imagery/songs/lyrics have appeared in advertising in the past two years.

Netflix UK and Ireland

In the first few months after Inside's release, the ads I had noticed online were these memes on YouTube.

These didn't bother me THAT much since they were the parent company (so clearly connected), incorporated Bo to make the creator obvious, and the jokes weren't too bad (especially the death bed one).

There were many worse examples that soon ensued.

Brand interaction on Twitter

We all know brands love posting and reacting to items on social media, and Inside tweets were no exception.

Bagel Bites: Since Bo called them out in his marketing bit, this snack brand took the newfound publicity and ran with it, striving to appear in on the joke.

They also liked any post mentioning their product, including pictures of my Emmys party with Kinja.

Pringles: While not related to Inside, the potato chip brand got a big shoutout in Can't Handle This. Even worse, they used fan interest to bring buzz to their Super Bowl ad and then explicitly did not solve Bo's dilemma at all (he's not happy getting his hand stuck in a can...ugh).

Thanks for all the upvotes though (my most successful post on Reddit ever)!

Hims: This ad really irritated me. Blatantly swiping Bo's Shit lyrics for their garbage ad gross. Also using "peep" unironically is so cringy.

PopChat: Ew. This person definitely did NOT get the SBC bit is a parody of marketing (and I work in that industry and got the joke haha).

Also it looks like even The Inside Outtakes weren't spared from brand awareness nonsense. Why do I get the feeling she thinks This Feeling is a great discussion of content (if she even watched the special, which I highly doubt)?

AdCreative: This ad has so many things going wrong for it. First, calling Bo's early videos "vlogging" makes no sense whatsoever. They are performances he recorded, not his stream-of-consciousness thoughts.

The one video that I can think of that could possibly be considered vlogging would be Bo at the hotel in Arizona, and even that is performative.

Second, reducing Bo to being only an "Influencer" makes me want to scream!

And finally, I guess this is an ad for the software he used for editing Inside (Final Cut Pro), but it's so icky, and you know Bo would never approve of it.

Then we get to the really egregious ads that stomp all over Bo's work and don't even mention him or the special. Let's take a look!

Starbucks and Bo's Lyrics as Inspiration

While I have no evidence that this wording appeared after Inside, the timing is quite suspicious.

Amazon Books and the Case of a Very Funny Feeling

Speaking of TFF, we can't talk about that song without mentioning this doozy of marketing one-upsmanship courtesy of Jeffrey Preston Bezos himself.

Yup, it's the mother of all terrible Bo-related ads—the one that led to so many queries on the subreddit that the moderator PlasticJesters said it was their most viewed post last year.

I give you...doppelganger Bo!

(and, yes...Reddit did target this ad at me lol)

Let's see...

  • Long-haired white guy with blue eyes?

  • Tears on his face?

  • "That reading feeling" as the slogan, which clearly rips off TFF?

So many people on social media were convinced this was Bo and he'd sold out to Bezos. Makes perfect sense, right? 🙄

However, here is what that crying man looks like in the full video.

That is definitely not Bo Burnham, in case you were still confused.

So, no, he did not sell his soul to Amazon for an ugly-looking ad campaign (seriously...why does the text look like "CAYING"? Ugh).


Again, this is not related to Bo's masterpiece, but I needed to save this absolutely bizarre Ukrainian ad for posterity...featuring Bo performing what. for some reason!

I have no words, just 6 letters: WTFIGO?!

Have you seen any other weird ads that feature Bo? Please let me know!


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