Earlier this year, Sling TV went live, providing a limited, web-based live TV option to cord-cutters unhappy with the broadcast cable model. And yesterday, the company launched a new marketing campaign to support it.
Aimed at fed-up millennials, the campaign uses the hashtag #TakeBackTV and mocks the established broadcast model across, TV, social, and digital platforms. It consists of three satirical spots (Old TV Model, Customer Service, Useless Channels), all of which are up on Sling TV’s official YouTube page.
Related: HBO is now live on Sling TV
Ironically, the videos clown Sling TV’s own parent company, Dish Network, which is part of the old-school cadre Sling TV aims to dethrone. Sling TV has always maintained it targets so-called cord-nevers — those who never subscribed to cable or satellite services — rather than cord-cutters, those who are ditching conventional live TV deliver for Internet-based entertainment options. Still, it’s hard not to chuckle over the situation.
In the adverts, “Old TV,” as Sling TV dubs it, is personified by a band of adolescent bullies that coerce customers into taking services they don’t want/need while insulting their intelligence and subjecting them to wedgies and wet willies.
Sling TV’s service is positioned as the good guy/gal alternative to all this teenage tyranny and claims to allow customers more flexibility, offering content packages that start at a flat fee of $20/month sans contract.
While TV commercials figure into the company’s marketing strategy, this campaign is aimed squarely at millennials, many of whom have already cut the cord. Thus, the majority of the marketing budget will target digital platforms like YouTube and social media networks.
Sling TV also worked with comedy duo Tim & Eric (Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim), chosen because of their strong millennial following.
“Millennials have polarizing feelings about TV; they love the content, but hate the pay-TV model,” said Glenn Eisen, Chief Marketing Officer of Sling TV. “The #TakeBackTV campaign introduces Sling TV as a new model and solution for the millennial audience. It directly mirrors their sentiment toward the pain points that accompany traditional pay-TV, in an exaggerated, humorous and fun way.”
Sling TV’s ads are certainly clever and the service is undoubtedly a step forward for streaming content, but is it enough to shift a firmly entrenched paradigm? That remains to be seen.
Either way, you can get a good chuckle out of the Old TV Model spot above.