DirecTV or Divorce

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November 30, 2012 by NowhereButPop

by Andrew Doscas

To me, TV commercials and red lights are the same thing.  They both interfere with something else that I’d rather be doing.  If I’m driving, I’m trying to get somewhere, and a red light presents a hindrance in that task.  When I’m watching TV, my programming is interrupted by commercials for products that I don’t really care about, but I have to sit through them in order to watch Teen Mom 2.

With that being said, I’ve noticed that commercials reuse actors….alot.  That one guy who used to do the Michael Jordan (Hitler mustache) Hanes commercials now does the Chase bank commercials.  I don’t like that though; it makes the commercial less believable if I know that they’ve done the same thing for another product.  They don’t come off as regular people anymore; they just become miniature celebrities endorsing a product.  It’s another job instead of portraying whatever the product is as something universal that anyone can use.

I love the Hanes “bacon neck” commercial though because it felt like what someone would actually do if they sat next to Michael Jordan–try and make themselves seem similar to him, it just came within the context of Hanes, which I didn’t mind, because the actor made me think he was a regular guy.  Once I saw the Chase commercial I knew this was no longer the case, he wasn’t some regular guy who was really excited to see Michael Jordan.

The difference between celebrities doing commercials and random day players is the conveying of the sense of reality.  Seeing a celebrity doing a commercial, you know it’s just for show, that it’s just for money, there’s no sincerity.  Hell, they may not even use whatever it is their advertising.  But with regular people it portrays a sense that anyone could use it.

That’s my problem with seeing the same few people on a bunch of different commercials.  Imagine if you saw Flo the Progressive woman do like a beer commercial, it would feel really awkward because we’re used to seeing her as Flo.  That brings me to DirecTV and a recurring commercial I’ve been seeing a lot lately (You probably should click the hyperlink before continuing onwards).

Now the man in the commercial is also on some credit card commercial, and the woman is from the 1-800-contacts commercial so you already know that they’re not married, which renders the illusion incomplete.  What I don’t understand though, is the very end where the guy says that at least someone gets to see her naked.  Why did DirecTV find it important to let the audience know that this guy wasn’t getting any?  Was it to enhance the illusion of them being a dysfunctional (typical) relationship?  If that’s the case though, it fails for me at least because I already know that he’s not getting any from her to begin with.

This kind of commercial is part of a series for DirecTV about the same family.  Like the main one I just mentioned, there’s another one where the same couple is arguing about getting ready.  The commercial ends with the guy walking out with no pants on……because this makes sense for a DVR commercial.  The third part of this series has their son wake up from a nightmare (about DVR) and his father (the same guy from the previous commercials) walks in basically says “shit happens” and walks away.  I just don’t understand the point of making this a pretty personal commercial.  Why go to all the lengths of coming up with this much maligned family for a bunch of 30 second commercials?  For me, it’s an uncomfortable combination of commercialism and realism whereby the former tries to justify itself by mimicking the latter.  All commercials do this; DirecTV went a bit overboard though.  It sends a shiver down my spine.

If they’re advertising DVR, I don’t need to know about the couple’s nonexistent sex life, or hear them arguing over his reluctance to wear pants, or that this guy is shitty father.  Maybe DirecTV was trying to tell us that these are the problems that arise without a proper DVR system in place.  If that’s the case, maybe DirecTV is the key to a happy marriage.

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