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DirecTV’s “Get Rid of Cable” Commercials are a series of TV advertisements for the American satellite TV company illustrating various hypothetical scenarios that lead to regrettable misfortunes as a result of cable TV service outage. Due to their far-fetched and highly entertaining premises, the ad campaign spawned quite a few amateur parodies on YouTube since its launch in 2012.
In early January 2012, DirecTV launched a new advertising campaign dubbed “Get Rid of Cable.” Created by New York-based ad agency Grey New York, the first three commercials for the satellite TV company poke fun at some of the most common frustrations experienced by cable TV subscribers, such as dealing with the customer service and increasing price of cable bills, while encouraging the viewers to switch to DirecTV in order to avoid the hassle altogether.
On January 3rd, the first installment of the series titled “Don’t Wake Up in a Roadside Ditch” was uploaded to The DirecTV YouTube channel, garnering over a million views within 18 months. On January 22nd, the earliest known parody of the commercial was uploaded by YouTuber KartoonManagement in a video titled “Don’t Get Anally Raped.”
Throughout January 2012, the launch of DirecTV’s ad campaign was met by positive reviews from the industry news sites AdWeek and Fierce Cable. Then on March 2nd, DirecTV released a new commercial titled “Platoon” (shown below), wherein a frustrated cable TV subscriber winds up at a bar during happy hours and encounters Charlie Sheen at a Turkish bathhouse.
In the following months, numerous amateur sketch videos parodying DirecTV’s commercials surfaced on YouTube, as well as multi-pane image macros illustrating similar scenarios on Tumblr and Cheezburger. As of July 2013, a YouTube search for “DirecTV commercial parody” yields approximately 3,500 videos.
Big River Advertising – DIRECTV Campaign – So Good it Keeps You Wanting More
The Hollywood Reporter – Charlie Sheen Spoofs Himself for DirecTV and Fiat Ads