DirecTV has had success with a campaign which pits a celebrity or athlete (who have DirecTV) vs alter-egos of themselves (who have cable). Think Tony Romo and Arts & Craftsy Tony Romo or Rob Lowe & Meathead Rob Lowe. It’s supposed to be a parody of the famous person who’s front-lining the ad. So far, the company has had success with the spots, but came under fire for false claims such as “DirecTV is #1 in customer satisfaction over all cable TV providers.” This week the campaign received scrutiny for a different reason, this time for a really bad alter-ego featuring Petite Randy Moss.
The spot is like many other of the DirecTV spots, as it shows the difference between the famous person and their DirecTV package and the struggles their alter-ego has with cable. Only Moss’ alter-ego comes off as offensive to short people. Watch Moss not be able to reach his coffee table from the couch, or fail to reach for cereal on the top shelf at the grocery store. Some people may find humor in the fact that Moss, who’s 6’4″, pretends to be a short person, but making fun of things such as height just comes off as mean. It’s juvenile and unfunny. Watch the ad for yourself.
DirecTV told AdWeek the joke is about Moss’ height, and that people are mostly enjoying the ad.
“Randy Moss was one of the tallest receivers to play the game, which of course is the joke,” “Besides, these ads obviously take place in an alternative reality, something our viewers understand. The feedback we’re getting is the vast majority enjoy them.”
Personally, I think the ads can find humor elsewhere without resorting to this kind of mockery. It’s lazy.