DirecTV ads warn viewers to 'get rid of cable'

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Rather than focus on exclusive programming such as its "NFL Sunday Ticket" package or products like its TiVo DVRs, DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) is relying purely on humor in a new series of TV ads that encourage viewers to "get rid of cable."

DirecTV ads

One of DirecTV's latest ads. Click here for the videos.

Created by Grey New York, the three ads poke fun at everything from cable customer service to the price of cable bills, depicting subscribers who are not happy with their cable service and the consequences that result when they act out on their frustrations.

One of the spots begins with a cable subscriber who is on hold with a customer service representative at a call center. "When your cable company keeps you on hold, you get angry. When you get angry, you go blow off steam," the narrator says, as the subscriber is then shown playing racquetball.  "When you go blow off steam, accidents happen," he says as the subscriber is hit in the eye by a racquetball. The ad continues with the subscriber being given an eye patch, and he is later challenged to a fight. "When you get an eye patch, people think you're tough. When people think you're tough, people want to see how tough. When people want to see how tough, you wake up in a roadside ditch. Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of cable and upgrade to DirecTV."

Another spot begins with a man who throws his cable remote after opening his cable bill, which prompts his wife to leave him. He later grows a beard, and begins to collect stray animals. "When you pay too much for cable, you throw things. When you throw things, people think you have anger issues," DirecTV says in the ad.

DirecTV has previously relied on programming offers and promotions related to packages such as its NFL Sunday Ticket package to lure subscribers through TV ads. That strategy helped it sign a record 327,000 subscribers during the third quarter.

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), DirecTV's biggest cable rival, has also turned to humor to lure new customers. Its latest ad campaign pokes fun of satellite TV providers, telling viewers, "Don't be a dish head."

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