The advertising coming from pay-TV providers is increasingly populated by characters as wonderfully wacky as anything in their programming. Satellite company DirecTV featured Gregor the gold-plated Russian billionaire,  with his mangled English and miniature giraffe. More recently, Dish Network brought us ridiculous cowboys with gargantuan hats  and out-of-control facial hair. Now, it's Comcast's turn.
To promote its Xfinity offering, Comcast today debuts the "Dish Heads," satellite subscribers with parabolic appendages around their necks that get in the way at just the wrong moments. One of two new spots from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners features a couple whose satellite-TV viewing is stopped by rain. When they resort to a more physical form of entertainment, the Dish Head Romeo is thwarted in his kissing attempts. Another commercial shows two undercover cops parked in a car, with the cable user referencing a film unfamiliar to his satellite-TV watching partner, who has fewer viewing options. When the objects of their surveillance appear, the cops try to duck, with detective Dish Head alerting the suspects by sounding the car horn. "Don't be a Dish Head," says the copy on both spots.
The strategy here is to offer a symbolic reminder of the daily hindrance of satellite TV—its viewing limitations because of inclement weather and its fewer on-demand options. While the spots may lack some of the rich details of rival advertisers' efforts, they're a fun alternative to some of the more promotion-driven tactics used by pay-TV operators in a cutthroat category.
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
Spots: "Date Night," "Stakeout"
Executive Creative Director: Jamie Barrett
Associate Creative Director: Paul Charney
Associate Creative Director: Stefan Copiz
Art Director: Javier Torok
Copywriter: John Lightstone
Executive Broadcast Producer: Tod Puckett
Broadcast Producer: Leila Seghrouchni
Director: Randy Krallman, Smuggler
DP: Maryse Alberti
Line Producer: Paula Cohen
Music: Big Foote Music
Sound Design: Lime Studios
Mixed by: Lime Studios
Edited by: Jim Hutchins, HutchCo
Assistant Editor: Joaquin Machado
Executive Producer: Jane Hutchins
Motion Graphics: The Lifelong Friendship Society, Brickyard VFX
Final Post/All VFX: Brickyard VFX