The new DirecTV television advertisements have been getting a lot of attention lately. There story delivers the off-beat message of "Don't End Up In a Roadside Ditch." It's both funny and entertaining so naturally, the advertisement has people talking, making parodies and bringing DirecTV a lot of attention in the process. But does get people buying satellite subscriptions?
Despite being the catalyst for conversation, the advertisements fail to actually sell DirecTV. The ads quickly compare DirecTV services to cable but quickly diverge into a loaded nonsensical story. After an initial comparison to cable, the story transitions multiple times with "When You...," and every it does it moves the viewer further and further away from the actual purpose of the ad- to compare DirecTV to cable. If the viewer happens to not get lost in the layers of story, the message the ad ends up delivering is that if you don't use DirecTV, bad things will happen to you. It's a funny premise but is obviously an untrue one.
So I ask again, how does positioning the brand with a fictional proposition help DirecTV sell subscriptions?
Unfortunately, this misguided thinking is widespread in the industry and frequently heralded as great work. The advertising industry would be well served by reconsidering their approach, particularly as it prepares to laugh away millions of dollars of clients' money on superbly entertaining but horribly executed Super Bowl advertisements.