Comcast's Crocodile Tears Mean The End Is Likely Near For DirecTV's Rob Lowe Commercials
Taking issue with the "Don't be like this me" statements made by their team of "this me" Rob Lowes, Comcast challenged DirecTV's claims of superiority with regard to better signal reliability, picture quality, customer satisfaction, and sports programming.
"NAD determined that a reasonable takeaway from the 'Creepy Rob Lowe' commercial was that DirecTV has better signal reliability than cable, that the 'Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe Commercial' conveyed the message that DirecTV has shorter customer service wait times than cable and that the 'Far Less Attractive Rob Lowe' commercial made an implied claim that DirecTV has better picture and sound quality than cable," the group said. "Given the absence in the record of supporting evidence, NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue the claims."
DirecTV made the NAD out to be a "Lacking A Funny Bone Rob Lowe", saying in a statement that the company "continues to believe that the various Rob Lowe advertisements are so outlandish and exaggerated that no reasonable consumer would believe that the statements being made by the alter-ego characters are comparative or need to be substantiated." To which, the NAD replied, “[While] humor can be an effective and creative way for advertisers to highlight the differences between their products and their competitor’s, humor and hyperbole do not relieve an advertiser of the obligation to support messages that their advertisements might reasonably convey—especially if the advertising disparages a competitor’s product.”
DirecTV has said that they will appeal the NAD's non-binding ruling to the National Advertising Review Board, although doing so may be nothing more than an academic face-saving gesture, as the company has said that the Rob Lowe campaign was recently shelved according to plan to make way for a new campaign featuring swimsuit model Hannah Davis (who would no doubt throw Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe into a nervous fit).
All of that said, if the events surrounding the DirecTV-Comcast back-and-forth manage to keep Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe and his cohorts from making a high-definition return to the screen next season or any time thereafter then Comcast's efforts will have proved quite a useful exercise.