Friday, July 23, 2010

Moscow On Madison

I love a high-concept ad campaign. You just don't see it much any more, and to some degree I'd say that's because marketers these days don't have much imagination. And, in an era when economics tend to hinder risk-taking, it's great to see an ad that hinges on a gimmick, and this 30-second spot for DIRECTV almost works. DIRECTV was one of the worst clients of my entire career, completely unwilling to listen to the professional recommendations of its creative agency, so I'm surprised someone talked them into being this entertaining. Perhaps it's just a reflection of how desperate they are now that they've lost a huge part of their market share to Comcast.

In the realm of cable television providers, I tend to think of DIRECTV as way behind the curve, much like Blockbuster Video was five or six years ago -- too late to the table when it came to industry innovations that should have been part of their developmental road map: movie downloads, streaming video and mobile apps. In fact I'm always a little startled when I see a Blockbuster store sitting forlornly in some suburban strip mall. Who still orders home videos this way? 

So give DIRECTV props for at least trying to be creative. And for tossing in that special effect at the end -- it's a sort of coda to a commercial that uses, of all things, a Russian mafia billionaire as its spokesperson. And the girl in the middle on the sofa? She should get some sort of award for her perfect portrayal of very jaded, very bored arm candy.

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