Hothouse: A commercial so good I can’t watch

DIRECTV’s new commercials are so good I hate them. I’m not kidding. I can’t watch them. But I still think they’re great advertising.

Judge for yourself. Here’s their Hothouse commercial:

Disturbing, right? Of course, that is also why I love it. I am not a fan of fire. I’m not as pyrophobic as I used to be, but this ad still creeps me out.

And that’s exactly why it’s good advertising.

Hothouse hits its mark with two key components of solid advertising—audience and memorability.

Audience

DIRECTV is clearly targeting the male audience. And why not? Unlike many other household purchases and decisions, this is one area where men are often the decision makers.

Both commercials in this campaign so far are similar. Here’s the other one:

Main characters are male. Sound effects are loud and visuals are in your face. Fire dominates one ad while destructive robots star in the other. Who does this appeal to? Do I even have to ask?

Memorability

The loud sounds and the graphic, intense visuals not only appeal to men, but they also make the ads memorable—a lot more memorable than anything Verizon or Comcast has going on right now.

DIRECTV needs to stand out because it lags behind the two industry behemoths. That’s why at the end of these commercials, when the screen goes black, the thing that stands out most is the price—$29.99 a month.

Extra credit

Price alone doesn’t do the trick when one of the advantages of your competitors is the bundle—Internet, phone and TV. Plus, two of the supposed drawbacks of satellite TV are clear picture and connectivity problems during a storm.

This current ad campaign highlights technology—pause TV from room to room. And the bonus of the way the visuals seem in the room with you hint at 3-D television. These commercials leave you with the impression of state-of-the-art technology.

A nice underlying message that could help get them more customers, especially in a bad economy in which DIRECTV’s competitors’ fees keep going up.

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Want to see how Hothouse was made? Check out the video on YouTube

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