Paint brand Farrow & Ball responds to 'SNL' sketch with a tactical New York Times ad

The upscale British company takes it all in good humor after roasting by Kristen Stewart

Published On
Nov 12, 2019

Editor's Pick

When "Saturday Night Live" does a sketch about your brand, it's good to have a sense of humor about it.

That was the approach taken by Farrow & Ball, the upscale English paint brand, after 'SNL' ran a sketch on Nov. 2 starring Kristen Stewart, Beck Bennet and Aidy Bryant that centered around a couple whose sister-in-law reveals she has used the pricey paint to decorate her rented apartment. The segment makes fun of the astronomical cost of Farrow & Ball paints and their flowery descriptions, as well as the fact that you "can't touch" the finished paint—with some digs at the English spelling of "color" as well.

Farrow & Ball agency BMB responded with a full-page ad in the New York Times, describing a new paint color—English Roast. It announces a new “Saturday Night Live special edition col-our!” Named as “English Roast No. 30,” it'sdescribed in the ad as: “A rich and good hum-oured hue with subtle hints of bone-dry satire and a lingering aftertaste of charred British beef. It’s not just paint, it’s Farrow & Ball."

“The advertisement was turned around in just one day," says Anthony Davey, CEO at Farrow & Ball. "The key to any tactical ad is speed. It only seemed right for a British brand to use light-hearted British wit in the ad. Whilst Farrow & Ball doesn’t always use jokes in their creative, it is still a warm and human brand. Embracing humor is just another facet of that.” 

Meanwhile, the sketch has prompted a whole host of media comment, including from Refinery29, which points out that given many Americans hadn't heard of it anyway, "Farrow & Ball was the real winner here." 


Nov 12, 2019
Client :
Farrow & Ball
Agency :

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