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The Spot: Death by Cable Switch today or spiral into misery, self-loathing and despair, DirecTV warns in hilarious ads from Grey By Tim Nudd

Death by Cable Switch

“IDEA: Having cable inevitably leads to misery, self-destruction and personal degradation. You lose everything and shave your head for money. You get beat up and left in a roadside ditch. You run into Charlie Sheen and reenact scenes from Platoon with him. You fake your own death and attend your funeral in disguise. Grey’s new DirecTV campaign (seven ads since January, with two more on the way) was initially meant to highlight features of the satellite-TV service that are superior to cable. But the creatives stumbled on a darkly comic structure for ads that seemed better suited to a broader attack—with each spot’s hero having a cable problem that snowballs into bigger woes, leaving his life in tatters. “We thought, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if this annoying cable issue spiraled into a domino effect of events that turned into total awfulness for you?’ “ said Grey associate creative director Steven Fogel. Indeed, it has become, with the help of director Tom Kuntz, the funniest ad campaign of the year.

COPYWRITING: The latest spot is narrated, like the others, by an earnest, serious voiceover that describes the scenes as they unfold. “When you wait forever for the cable guy, you get bored,” he says. “When you get bored, you start staring out windows. When you start staring out windows, you see things you shouldn’t see.” (Our hero sees a body being loaded into a trunk.) “When you see things you shouldn’t see, you need to vanish. When you need to vanish, you fake your own death.” (He swims away from a boat on fire.) “When you fake your own death, you dye your eyebrows. And when you dye your eyebrows, you attend your own funeral as a guy named Phil Shifley. Don’t attend your funeral as a guy named Phil Shifley”.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcYWvvv75dM&feature=youtu.be%5D [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93CsOgvNUoE&feature=youtu.be%5D

Oh my, these ads are great! It’s like they’re mocking their own advertising strategy by claiming that you need to buy this, otherwise bad things will happen. Amazing.

There should be a UK version!

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