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Phil Shifley Goes Viral: Direct TV vs. Cable Industry

Phil Shifley Goes Viral: Direct TV vs. Cable Industry


Phil Shifley Goes Viral: Direct TV vs. Cable Industry

Phil Shifley

Who is Phil Shifley?

A character created by Grey Group for Direct TV (NASDAQ: DTV), depicted in the latest ad to lampoon the cable industry, goes viral, now with his own Facebook page. Phil Shifley, a fictional consumer is depicted watching a blank TV screen while waiting for the “The Cable Guy”, (a term used in 1996 movie). He looks out his window and sees what he shouldn’t see, taking him down the path to attending his own funeral. This is the latest commercial in a series sanctioned by Direct TV to skewer the Cable Industry for their historical lack of good customer service.

The tag line for Direct TV’s new satellite vs. cable industry ad captivates viewers so well; consumers seem to be mesmerized into watching the spot over and over. Many TV ads are just boring information which tune viewers out within the first ten seconds. “Don’t Attend Your Own Funeral” produced by the Grey Group and deftly constructed by director Tom Kuntz pulls its audience into a virtual horror show for poor Phil Shifley. With a brilliantly creative plot and direction, the commercial is almost like seeing an inevitable award-winning micro-movie in 30 seconds. See (The Spot: Death by Cable Switch today or spiral into misery, self-loathing and despair, Direct TV warns in hilarious ads by Grey)

Direct TV vs. Cable Industry – Truth in Advertising

How successful is the most recent ad by Direct TV vs. the Cable Industry in promoting the actual truth? Well, it seems that cable television as an industry has not received historically great ratings by the consumer in customer satisfaction surveys. As depicted by J. D. Power in its latest survey, released in October 2011, the cable industry did poorly along Direct TV and other telecom providers. The report, Cable and Satellite Television Growth Fueled by Uptick in Market Penetration of DVRs and Other Services indicates cable operators to be lacking in all metrics. This is an old story for cable providers and has been dogging the industry for years. It only adds fuel to the recent ad by its competitor.

Direct TV has its own problems, as depicted by cable industry ads for years; rain-fade. It is still true today when a thunderstorm rolls through Direct TV’s footprint; intermittent outages plague the service for any customer in the middle of their favorite program. This has not changed and cable would be wise to capitalize on a continuing customer service imperfection Direct TV has been unable to eliminate. As Cable TV penetration declines, the satellite provider’s growth is slowing as the market continues to mature. Its primary source of growth now is Latin America. See (Direct TV’s Buyback Plan Pleases Investors as Growth Slows)

Cable Industry Should Fight Perceptions

Fighting a perception of lackluster customer service, especially if it is poor, takes a long-term and protracted approach with a combination of image repair and media promotions. Cable seems to have forgotten those basics, or moved on to the next big technology trend, leaving its customer service image to dangle in a precariously bad place. First, it must fix the fundamental problem in customer service (key metrics), then promote those metrics to consumers via ads that go viral. Maybe they need to use the Grey Group. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a serious initiative to do either.

Phil Shifley Goes Viral: Direct TV vs. Cable Industry
Phil Shifley Goes Viral: Direct TV vs. Cable Industry Leonard Grace (270 Posts)

Founder of Broadband Convergent, a Broadband-Mobile-Cable-Wireless-Telecom market website focused on highlighting industry news and strategic issues within technology arenas. Highly researched and experienced insights and trends both inform and enlighten readers on current industry convergence of Broadband-Cable-Mobile-Wireless and Telecom Sectors.

Phil Shifley Goes Viral: Direct TV vs. Cable IndustryPhil Shifley Goes Viral: Direct TV vs. Cable IndustryPhil Shifley Goes Viral: Direct TV vs. Cable IndustryPhil Shifley Goes Viral: Direct TV vs. Cable IndustryPhil Shifley Goes Viral: Direct TV vs. Cable IndustryPhil Shifley Goes Viral: Direct TV vs. Cable Industry

  • http://www.facebook.com/billy.okeefe.5 Billy O’Keefe

    i have directv and only once have i ever lost picture because of the weather…and that was during a damn near hurricane

  • Tom S

    Probably not the best time to go bashing cable – it’s rain season.  Sunday Mat 24, 26 & 28 satellite was out for close to 30 minutes each night due to heavy rains.  What Direct ALWAYS fails to mention is that atmospheric conditions wipe out the signal.  And it doesn’t even have to be directly overhead due to look angles.  Snow too, unless they had a smart installer who put it in reach of a broom.  They must be slightly desperate now that NFL is over.

  • Disgruntled Cable Guy

    Brighthouse spent months advertising the “tease” commercials “Hello Friend” — then increased my cable bill by $6 a month to pay for their ad campaign.  Multiply the $6 by a couple million subscribers and they can afford to have the best service on the planet!  Yet they don’t.

    If Direct or Dish offered Internet service at the same price (or less) I’d change in a heartbeat!