Marionette Wives Feel Pretty Insecure in an Age of Wireless DirecTV

Grey's odd new ads

If DirecTV is trying to position its Wireless Genie Mini device as a high-tech toy for doofy bros who view women as puppets—mission accomplished!

Perhaps that's a tad harsh or too literal. Still, there's something unnerving about these new ads from Grey New York, directed by Bryan Buckley, featuring a life-size blonde marionette. In one ad, she struggles with her wires while pouring lemonade for a pair of DirecTV-lovin' dudes. In a second spot, our heroine dangles from the bedroom ceiling in a sexy negligee, concerned her human beau is more attracted to DirecTV.

Self-conscious oddness is the obvious goal, and the campaign certainly works on that level. Even so, there's a touch of mean-spiritedness that doesn't sit right. The puppet is the most appealing part of these commercials, and it's easy to sympathize with her plight. This, in turn, kind of keeps me from feeling good about the Wireless Genie itself, which lets multiple TVs share HD-DVR programming over WiFi (so first-worlders won't trip over unsightly wires and fall flat on their Google Glass).

Cut those cords and free yourself, my wooden sister! Today, there are so many ways for a marionette to be fulfilled—like rapping for JCPenney or blogging for Target. Don't let some half-wit string you along!


Client: DirecTV

Campaign: "Marionettes"

Agency: Grey, New York

Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren

Executive Creative Director: Dan Kelleher

Vice Presidents, Creative Directors: Doug Fallon, Steven Fogel

Art Director: Marques Gartrell

Copywriter: Kim Nguyen

Agency Executive Producer: Andrew Chinich

Agency Producer: Lindsay Myers

Agency Music Producer: Zachary Pollakoff

Account: Chris Ross, Beth Culley, Anna Pogosova, Aaron Schwartz, Meredith Savatsky

Production Company: Hungry Man

Director: Bryan Buckley

Executive Producer: Mino Jarjoura

Producer: Rachel Curl

Production Supervisor: Colette Findley

Director of Photography: Scott Henriksen

Editor: Tom Scherma, Cosmo Street

Assistant Editor: Dave Otte, Cosmo Street

Editorial Executive Producer: Maura Woodward. Cosmo Street

Editorial Producer: Heather Richardson, Cosmo Street

Visual Effects: The Mill

Visual Effects Executive Producer: Sue Troyan, The Mill

Visual Effects Producer: Anastasia Von Rahl, The Mill

Casting Director, Los Angeles: Kathy Knowles, Kathy Knowles Casting

Casting Director, New York: Fay Shumsey, Fay Erin Casting

Audio Mixer: Tom Jucarone, Sound Lounge

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.