It’s the baseball playoffs, so I’m watching more broadcast TV than usual, which means I’m finding plenty of commercials to get annoyed at. A spot DirectTV is running now is particularly obnoxious. In it, failing to have Direct TV causes the hero of the spot to be menaced by hideous caricatures of rural whites, all of whom seem to have disgusting rotting teeth, leering looks and creepy high-pitched cackling laughs.
I can’t find the spot online, but my search did turn up several complaints on Facebook, as shown above. Hopefully the fact that I can’t find it means DirectTV has received enough bad feedback to pull it. Nevertheless, they already spent big bucks to produce it. Why does DirectTV feel that it needs to create an undesirable “other” in its ads to sell its product? And why do they feel that regional socio-economic stereotypes are any more acceptable than racial, ethnic or religious stereotypes? They aren’t.
The spot below has been alternating with the “rabid hillbillies” spot. It, too, posits the same kind of “us against them” world, only this time using cultural stereotypes, namely people with neck tattoos. Uncool.