By Barry Janoff
July 27, 2015: In the world of DirecTV, it takes a team of NFL quarterbacks to replace actor Rob Lowe.
A campaign for the subscription cable provider saw Lowe play opposite inferior versions of himself intended to represent DirecTV's competition, including awkward, creepy, less attractive, scrawny arms and meathead. The ads ended with the real Lowe offering, "Don't be like this me. Get rid of cable and upgrade to DirecTV."
In a case of turnabout being fair play, DirecTV had to pull the ads this past April when Comcast complained to the Better Business Bureau that statements made in the campaign were unsubstantiated, which led to the BBB's National Advertising Division review board requesting the DirecTV either pull or redo the campaign.
Now, with the NFL season approaching, DirecTV is supporting its NFL Sunday Ticket package with a Lowe-esque campaign in which Eli Manning, quarterback for the New York Giants, and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo represent DirecTV and their lesser alter-egos are cable.
Manning previously appeared with brother Peyton, quarterback for the Denver Broncos, in several humorous DirecTV ads. The company signed Romo along with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck this past April.
DirecTV this week also broke a spot with Luck, "Hide and Seek," in which the Luck without DirecTV lacks for quality NFL viewing and has plenty of time to play games with his cats.
"I wanna thank DirecTV for allowing me to show off my true self," Romo wrote on his Twitter account. "Embarrassing is an understatement."
The campaign is breaking as AT&T has completed its estimated $67 billion acquisition of DirecTV, which claims more than 20 million subscribers.
“The Mannings demand excellence from their teammates, so we knew we had to go big in the first round and select the highest caliber talent to expand our roster," Alex Kaplan, svp-marketing for DirecTV, said in a statement when Romo and Luck were signed. "Tony and Andrew were the most obvious picks. With four of the most prominent performers and personalities in the NFL, we’re taking our NFL Sunday Ticket marketing game to a whole new level.”
The generic Lowe campaign was directly replaced by a series of on-going ads featuring model Hannah Davis and her talking horse.
In his 30-second spot, a well-dressed Manning explains that only "DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket gives you every game, every Sunday. All in stunning HD." Meanwhile, "Bad comedian" Manning, bald and slovenly, offers, "With cable, I get HD — as in huge disappointment!" The poor showing continues with "Bad comedian" Manning on-stage in a musty club. "Wanna see a picture of my mother-in-lay? Neither do I!"
"Don't be like this me," says Manning. "Get NFL Sunday Ticket. Only on DirecTV." (See the full spot here.)
Romo in his commercial says, "Only DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket lets you watch every game live from start to finish. Romo's counterpart, offers as mellow (and all bald) "Arts and Craftsy" Romo, "With cable, you don't get every game. So I channel my frustrations using paper måché"
Later, "Arts and Craftsy" Romo shows off another creation. "I mixed a cup cake and an brownie. I call it a crown."
The real Romo says, "Get NFL Sunday Ticket. Only on DirecTV." (See the full spot here.)
Lead agency is Grey, NY.
"With DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket, Eli Manning knows he can watch every play of every NFL game each Sunday in stunning HD quality," offered DirecTV. "Bad Comedian Eli Manning has cable and knows his HD is actually a huge disappointment. Don't be like Bad Comedian Eli Manning. Upgrade to DirecTV today."
As for the Romo ad, "With DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket, Tony Romo knows he can watch every single NFL game live each Sunday," said DirecTV. "Arts and Craftsy Tony Romo only has cable and can't watch every game, so he channels his frustrations by using paper mache. Tony Romo can pick out any game he wants to with DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket's eight-game mix channel, while Arts and Craftsy Tony Romo can only mix cupcakes and brownies. Don't be like Arts and Craftsy Tony Romo. Upgrade to DirecTV today."
DirecTV Adds Romo, Luck To Manning Brothers
Back to Home Page