DirecTV ad exposes seamy underbelly of NFL fan rivalries

By Elena Malykhina on Mon Aug 2 2010

It's that time of year again. DirecTV is trying to get football fans to sign up for its "NFL Sunday Ticket" package, which carries a steep price of $299.95. The satellite service provider is reportedly spending $100 million on an ad campaign promoting the plan, which lets fans watch NFL games not available through local affiliates. The TV spots, from Deutsch, New York, center on the fact sports fans can enjoy watching their favorite teams no matter where they reside. One ad, "Cheeseheads," shows a Green Bay Packers fan talking in a Fargo-like accent to a priest on her couch at home. She tells the priest that her husband is upset because the new neighbors from San Francisco have DirecTV and watch the 49ers every week. She reveals that she has sent the neighbor a cheese platter to welcome him. The priest seems to think she's a kind woman, but doesn't know that she spelled out the word "dirt bag" in cheese. In another ad, a trophy wife from Dallas vents her anger at a local Redskins fan by letting her dog chew up his welcome mat, knock over the flowers and pee on the rug. In still another, a pair of "Masshole" Patriots fans sneer at a local follower of the Dolphins and toss some snow at his door. Can't we all get along?

Stan Lee pops up in Deutsch's Dr Pepper promo for 'Iron Man 2'

Posted on Tue Apr 13 2010

Iron Man is one of the coolest superheroes of our time and returns to the big screen in the upcoming Iron Man 2. It's no wonder Dr Pepper jumped at the opportunity to create a cross-promotion for the movie, in theaters on May 7. In addition to touting Iron Man gadgets at, the brand is running this spot via agency Deutsch/LA. Marvel Comic fans will recognize Stan Lee in the role of a Stark Industries custodian. Meanwhile, another custodian gets daring and asks Tony Stark's computer program to suit him up. But instead of an iron suit, the man ends up in a hi-tech Dr Pepper vending machine. Pretty clever on Dr Pepper's part, since viewers don't know it's a commercial for the soft drink until the end. And a little humor goes a long way in making the ad (and the brand) memorable.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

Sony hopes you'll start laughing with the PlayStation 3, not at it

Posted on Fri Aug 28 2009

It's hard to say if Sony has learned its lesson from its disastrous 2006 launch of PlayStation 3 (the item has cost Sony more than $3 billion so far), but at least the company has kept what AdFreak has called the funniest man in commercials on board for a new fall campaign. The ads, breaking Sept. 1, were previewed on PlayStation's blog yesterday. It appears the company knows its audience, including a tubby computer geek identified as a "rumor monger" who is trying to confirm the item's new $299 price point. "You can't believe everything you read on the Internet," says the Funniest Man. "Otherwise I'd be a Nigerian millionaire right now." Despite the denials, FM is surrounded by signs announcing the $299 price point. Another spot shows an "unsatisfied girlfriend" who complains that her boyfriend hasn't hooked the PS3 to the Internet. "What's wrong with him?!" bellows FM. So far, so good, Sony. Now, don't screw it up this time.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Bottles filled with Ikea stuff 'mysteriously' wash up on beaches

Posted on Tue May 26 2009

IKEAbottle copy

Years ago, Sting told the story of his message in a bottle. It seems he sent out his SOS to relay the fact that he felt lonely. Well, wasn't he surprised when "100 million bottles" washed up on the shore. It was definitely a poignant tale that spoke to the deep yearnings within each of us. Now, years later, Ikea is sending out its own messages in a bottle, but the message here is: Buy Ikea products. Four- to six-foot bottles containing Ikea chairs and other bits of furniture have "mysteriously" washed up on the beaches of Tampa, according to a Deutsch rep. This follows other Ikea guerrilla stunts like its subway-beautification project in Kobe, Japan, last year. The bottles will no doubt get attention from beachgoers, though they might prefer a free Ikea chair to sit on instead.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

See a penny, pick it up, and all day long you'll have CiCi's pizza

Posted on Tue Mar 31 2009

Cici's, the family pizza chain, is leveraging the power of the Honest Abe in its latest campaign from Deutsch. The brand is dropping pennies on the sidewalks outside its 650 eateries nationwide to get budget-conscious consumers to eat out. Each penny carries a special offer for a free meal, drink or pizza on its back side. Cici's CMO Tom Koenigsberg hopes the promotion will get customers to rethink the lowly penny when bypassing it outside. "When they walk by a penny, they're going to pick it up and go to CiCi's," he said. We have to admit: A promotion like this is a lot better than another free pizza or what-have-you stimulus package.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Soo the Korean cow dreams of a better life in sunny California

Posted on Wed Mar 4 2009

The world is indeed getting smaller, with even the popular "happy cows" from California recruiting new spokesbovines from the Pacific Rim. The anthropomorphic ad campaign for California Milk Advisory Board has already had an international flavor, with cows from Canada and the U.K. "auditioning" to become part of the famous on-screen herd. Now, there's a South Korean cow named Soo who sings a little surfer song and talks in her bio about "studying very hard the glorious food, palm trees and sunshine that make up your wonderful state." It's all in Korean, with subtitles. Good way to skip right over that trap of having an adorable "foreign" animal speaking with a heavy and possibly offensive accent. And it sure makes you do a double take when you hear Korean spoken during daytime TV.
  The happy cows, created by Deutsch/LA, have been around since 2000, and have spawned their own DVDs and merchandise. They're also credited with helping California challenge Wisconsin as the nation's top cheese and milk seller. There are lots of talking-animal ads out there, with a PETA protest for nearly every one, but you have to admit, Soo the cow is cute overload. In a good way.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

For guys who are too lazy to have sex, there's the 'Coucha Sutra'

Posted on Mon Feb 9 2009


DirecTV had a serious brand problem. How to make the satellite TV service fit in naturally inside the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Saddled with this seeming impossibility, Deutsch L.A. trotted out the "Coucha Sutra." Click here to see a larger image.
  Consider it modern man's Kama Sutra, says the agency. "The ancient Indian spiritual text, composed in the 2nd Century AD and famous for its detailed illustrations of human sexual behavior, has been revolutionized by DirecTV to depict the multitude of 'positions' assumed in the most sensual and spiritual of places in our time … the couch." Included among the not-so-racy illustrations are "the Bogart" (women's feet on top of lap), "the bat cave" (man and woman hanging upside down) and the third wheel (woman draped on man, who shoots daggers at a friend who has overstayed his welcome).
  The ad is either destined for dorm rooms everywhere or the trash.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein



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