Bill Clinton is known to have described the spots for DirectTV as the “most hilarious ads” he’d ever seen. The ads have been popular on the web and have won many awards including the Cannes Lions. I have been a big fan of the ‘side effects of owning cable’ campaign – everything about it was just right. The strategy creates dissonance in the minds of cable owners, the creative idea is engaging and the writing hilarious. The ads are beautifully crafted too, involving the viewer till the end, evoking ‘laugh-out-loud’ reactions. However, it is not just about having fun. When Grey was named ‘Agency of the Year’ by Adweek, the client had to say this about the relationship.
But Paul Guyardo, chief revenue and marketing officer at DirecTV, stresses that Grey’s approach to his business is nothing but serious. Grey staff have visited DirecTV’s call centers, for example, and Guyardo has been invited to the agency to explain the company’s high-pressure subscription business.
“Working with Grey has been the best relationship in my 30-year career,” says Guyardo, a former agency exec. “We don’t refer to them as the agency; their team and my team are one. When the work comes out great, it’s because of that collaboration, and when it doesn’t, it’s because of that collaboration. We give them plenty of freedom and they take advantage of it.”
The latest series of spots continue on the same vein: owing cable leads to disastrous consequences and highlights the little frustrations (poor service, high cost):
Agency: Grey, New York
Each ad has a memorable gem both in terms of an audio and visual anchor. The creative leap from ‘cable company keeping you on hold’ to ‘Don’t Have your Dad Get Punched Over a Can of Soup’ is hilarious. Salut.