By Malay Desai
From: Y&R, Argentina
At a homely gathering of a Spanish family, a mother is with her toddler, who’s catching attention all around. Everyone who sees him likens an aspect of his face to a family member - eyes like an uncle’s, mouth like someone else’s, he’s even called an exact replica of his grandfather. As they say this, the child’s features are shown changing - from bushy eyebrows to full lips. Toward the end, the mother exclaims, “I really don’t know what he looks like” before the copy: ‘Everybody sees what they want to see’ and the product window.
Why we Like
With less than a month to go before digitization of cable TV becomes mandatory in our metros, we must warm you up to some work from abroad in this category before our dish-wallas begin their seduction.
Selling a better TV experience through TV itself is a tricky proposition, and set top boxes simply being rectangular black ‘dibbas’ doesn’t make it easier. The scope then only lies in showing what the product does rather than what it is. DirecTV, one of the biggest satellite TV operators in the USA, could be the case to look up to for its use of straight-faced humour of late.
In this Spanish spot, the emotions are universal - put a baby in a large family and comparisons of his/her looks to some or the other relative are not only inevitable, they’re a matter of pride. Taking this as a metaphor to say ‘everyone watches what they want to’ is subtle, effective humour. More so, the ad has been shot well (seemingly in one take) and the visual effects to make the child’s ears longer and mouth wider, etc., are hilarious.
This is only the latest of a series of spots from DirecTV, all of them flaunting humour either subtle or bizarre, but most of them are effective. We loved the ones which tell ‘what all can and will happen’ if one does not have DirecTV, especially the spot that uses actor Charlie Sheen in a manner no other brand has.
America is no stranger to smart TV that records shows, gives HD quality and all that jazz. Our giant TV-watching public, on the other hand, is just warming up to the above. We’d like the advertising, therefore, to be as smart as the high-tech satellite boxes themselves. From what we’ve seen, most of Tata Sky’s work has created a ‘cool’ ‘witty’ space in our minds while Dish and others have made noise more than anything else. Here’s hoping all their agencies - who’d be geared up for July 1 - will surprise us before we decide which ‘dibba’ to buy.