DirecTV Pulls Rob Lowe Commercial – Why This is Funny to Us

DirecTV Pulls Rob Lowe Commercial – Why This is Funny to Us

Good Rob or Bad Rob?  Who was your favorite?

My favorite was Bad Rob. I felt bad for the guy.  Why does he always get the bad rap?  Why is it that the guy who uses cable has to look like he belongs in the latest zombie apocalypse series?

We’ll, now we’ll never know why, as apparently Comcast wasn’t too flattered by the way they were portrayed by Bad Rob in the Rob Lowe commercial, and decided to have it reviewed by the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division (NAD).

First off, who the heck is the BBB’s National Advertising Division, and why the heck do they care about Good Rob vs. Bad Rob?

Turns out, the NAD acts as an intermediary between different advertising parties to settle grievances in a more efficient manner than going through litigation or the Federal Trade Commission. The NAD reviews advertisements for truthfulness and accuracy, and they weren’t too pleased with what they saw in DirecTV’s Rob Lowe commercial.

From an ASRC Press Release:

NAD determined that the “Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe” commercial communicated an implied but unsupported message that DirecTV’s sports programming was superior to cable’s sports programming and recommended the claim be discontinued.

Seriously? The Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division is providing opinion regarding how Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe relates to Comcst having an inferior sports platform?

First things first.  DirecTV has Sunday Package. Comcast (or any other cable provider) doesn’t. Let the record state that DirecTV is probably on to something with their assessment.

But that’s besides the point.  The point is, why are we all wasting our time and effort talking about this? And why does all of this make us laugh?

“The Category is Not Growing”

The pay for tv “category” is not growing.  It’s shrinking.  These are my words, but if you don’t believe me, then listen to DirecTV’s senior vice president of marketing, Jon Gieselman:

People are leaving pay TV. It’s a share shifting challenge. We’re trying to steal one another’s customers.

Yup. That’s right.  Stealing each other’s customers.  Now don’t get me wrong, I think this is a really cool ad campaign, and all’s fair in love, war and the cable vs. satellite advertising battles.  But if I were to come up with a Top Ten Signs Your Business Model is Broken list, stealing customers is probably right up there at the top.

The world is changing. Cable and satellite TV are fighting on two fronts.

What Does This Signal?

We need to understand the signal through the noise. The message isn’t that Cable wins this round. The message is that both cable and satellite are losing.  They’re losing ground. Their pie is shrinking.  And it’s going to continue because people like you and me are quitting cable and satellite, and living a TV without cable lifestyle.


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