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DirecTV Featuring Celebrities

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DirecTV Featuring Actor Bill Paxton

DirecTV Featuring Actor Bill Paxton

Image Copyright: DirecTV

The Company:

The Agency:

The Pitch:


DirecTV and its 185 channels, plus an offer for a free month. Later versions promote DirecTV's sports package.

Commercial Debut:


April 26, 2006

Target Audience:


Movie and TV show lovers, mainly those who are ready to pull the plug on cable. Follow-up versions of this campaign target sports fans.

The Setup:


While you're watching what looks like a normal promo for a movie or sports event, one of the celebrities turns to the camera and starts talking about DirecTV.

The Commercial:


Two versions kicked off this ad campaign.

In one, a scene from Twister is re-enacted featuring real movie clips with Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. Paxton turns to the camera and says he doesn't know why he's out chasing tornadoes when he could be at home watching movies on DirecTV.

Another version features clips from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Actor Ben Stein is calling roll when a student says Bueller is out sick. Stein turns to the camera and says he's probably at home watching DirecTV.

Pros:


• The commercials grab your attention. You may tune out the first part thinking you're just watching a promo but when you hear the celebrities stray from their normal dialogue, you definitely notice and start looking for the ad to air the next time around.

• DirecTV and Deutsch Inc. have come across a good thing here. This campaign could continue indefinitely by using other movies, events and stars.

• The buzz across the Internet has already made these commercials successful.

Cons:


• The first time around, you may not really pay full attention to the commercials because they look more like a promo for an upcoming airing of a movie or sports event. Frequency has been the key for these commercials.

News and Notes:


• A commercial featuring Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning debuted the week of June 29, 2006. Manning stops in the middle of game play to pitch DirecTV's "NFL Sunday Ticket" package.

• Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher appears in another DirecTV commercial for this campaign in July 2006.

• Verne Troyer, the character known as "Mini-Me" from the Austin Powers movies, also appeared in a DirecTV commercial debuting in May 2006.

• The ad campaign introduces the new tagline: "There's good TV, there's better TV, then there's DirecTV."

• From 2000-2004, Deutsch Inc. handled DirecTV's ad campaign. DirecTV then left the agency for two years, signing with Omnicom Group's BBDO, before re-signing with Deutsch Inc. in 2006.

• The deal DirecTV just signed with Deutsch Inc. is worth an estimated $120 million.

• DirecTV is the largest provider of digital television service.

• The company has more than 15 million subscribers.

• DirecTV is partially owned by News Corp. subsidiary Fox Entertainment.

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