Saks, SNL Team To Fight Cancer

The once “Not Ready for Prime Time players” are at least ready for a showcase advertising campaign to help fight cancer. 

In recognition of Saturday Night Live’s upcoming 40th season, Saks Fifth Avenue will feature current and former cast members -- including two men -- in its annual “Key to the Cure” philanthropic benefit for the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund. Now in its 16th year, this year’s campaign is the first to feature multiple celebrities -- rather than one celebrity -- to promote the efforts. 

“With 'Saturday Night Live' celebrating its 40th season, it felt natural to bring these [brands] together. We both have supported the cause in the past,” Kathleen Ruiz, senior vice president of PR and marketing, tells Marketing Daily. “We’ve had a long list of celebrities in the past. This is the first year we’ve had more than one person in the campaign.”

In an upcoming advertising campaign, Saks Fifth Avenue will feature Will Ferrell, Ana Gasteyer, Vanessa Bayer, Cicely Strong and Colin Jost wearing limited edition t-shirts designed by New York designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville (of rag & bone), created especially for the campaign. The t-shirt is also a first, available as a unisex tee, for the first time. It will be available for purchase at Saks Fifth Avenue stores, as well as the brand’s Off 5th stores and online in October, with proceeds going to the EIF’s fund.

“Vanessa Bayer was the first to sign on, and then the rest fell into place,” Ruiz said of the stars appearing in the campaign. “I’m sure if we had more time, we would have had more people.”

In addition to the limited edition T-shirts, Saks will sell exclusive merchandise inspired by SNL characters as interpreted by seven New York designers. (Items include a dress fit for “The Californians” by Diane von Furstenburg; Spartans Cheerleading uniforms by Elizabeth and James, and Coneheads hats by Eugenia Kim.) Those items will be available in the retailer’s flagship store during the Key to The Cure shopping weekend Oct. 16-19. 

“I am thrilled to be working with Saks and all the amazing designers they have brought on board to help realize this creative collaboration between TV characters and the fashion world,” said SNL costume designer Tom Broecker, who curated the exclusive designs, in a statement.

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