Monsters Show Their Poker Face in Spectrum’s Latest Riff on the Evils of Satellite TV

A testy round of cards

The Spectrum monsters are back to terrorize the airwaves. But satellite service is still scarier, says a new ad from the cable provider.

Fresh characters like a creepy doll join familiar faces like the mummy, whom the brand and agency Something Different introduced in April, for a friendly round of weirdo poker, with a baseball game on in the background.

Things get a little testy when the werewolf asks the host, a demon, to pause the TV broadcast. The demon refuses, the werewolf cries prejudice, the peanut gallery chimes in with glee.

But it turns out the real culprit is DirecTV Now, the Spectrum competitor’s live online service, which won’t let the host pause anything—and the monsters are horrified.

As with the earlier ad in the campaign, also directed by O Positive’s David Shane, the new spot’s broad concept turns on clever writing and deft execution. The doll ultimately and ominously offers to “take care” of the problem “very professionally,” confusing and disturbing even his fellows.

There’s no word on why the Grim Reaper, central to the earlier ad, isn’t at the macabre party. He must be out working late again.