DirectTV vs. Viacom Saga: Stephen Colbert and Spongebob Squarepants Deployed in Clever DirectTV Parody
The famous DirectTV campaign “Get Rid of Cable” which – among other versions – features FX Anger Management’s Charlie Sheen as the undesirable outcome of a cable television “sad” user, is being mocked by a Viacom campaign in which the company’s most popular personalities and fictional characters express their outrage for DirectTV’s decision to drop Viacom’s channels from its service, due to Viacom's outrageous demands.
Here’s DirectTV’s actual commercial:
And here’s Viacom’s parody with Stephen Colbert, Spongebob Squarepants, and Betty White – among others:
Though Viacom might be on the wrong side of the conflict – as it relates to good quality and cost effective entertainment for its audience – one has to admit its campaign parodying DirectTV’s “Get Rid of Cable” commercial is a clever and very creative way of pushing for their agenda. Especially, since the web commercial appeals to the audience's emotions by deploying popular characters and personalities in varying degrees of stress for having been dropped from the satellite provider, and thus not being able to connect with the empathetic audiences who for the time being will miss them every day (because of “bad guy” DirectTV).
The strategy turns into evil-genius when one realizes that Viacom – which knows that most young users stream their favorite shows through the internet – also decided to take its show offline, effectively holding Jon Stewart -- among others -- hostage and encouraging customers to call DirectTV to absurdly demand a more expensive satellite television bill.