According to Sling TV the cable industry operates like a group of school yard bullies. Through its new ad campaign the company uses kids to berate adults through wedgies and other juvenile acts of aggression in forcing their customers/victims to follow through with contracts and force feed themselves channels they do not want. But are cable companies bullies? Do people feel forced to get the services in the first place?
Will these ads last?
Remember the cable Rob Lowe Vs Direct TV Rob Lowe campaign? In that series of advertisements Rob Lowe played a high tech friendly clean cut version of himself in a clean beautiful modern home to illustrate the joys and superiority of Direct TV service while wearing a dirty shirt and sitting in a dated mismatched living room with an old square TV. Message Cable users are trashy and D-TV users are trendy. The ads got pulled after due to pressure from cable companies for unfair depictions of its overall quality and customer satisfaction.
How Cable Advertises
Cable companies paint themselves as bastions of communication and convenience. Using concepts like “Bundles make it easy”, “fastest internet speeds” etc. The message is about reliability and convenience. When you are on the top of the mountain you rarely shoot down and at the moment cable is keeping to that rule when it comes to TV programming. Where you see the industry on the offensive is in comparison to DSL, which by all measures is far slower than even basic packages available through most cable providers. But by attacking DSL the companies avoid a comparison between cable Internet and something along the lines of U-Verse Internet which is more than equal for the price. In general cable companies advertise internet speeds that average families do not need like up to 50mps, otherwise known as 4 times faster than is needed for streaming and basic use. At least it no longer compares itself to dial up.
As it grows it will be interesting to see how the company deals with the crush of customer service issues that will arise and the biggest issue down the line, renegotiating deals with providers like Disney, which may ask for more money from the service in the future. But for now Sling TV is in position to play the good guy offering channels without commitment and interchangeable packages. Consumers could benefit greatly from a competitive marketplace in that field, but there are not any obvious challengers at the moment. Bullies or not Sling is making the case that they provide a simmilar service with far less hassle and from my own experience I can actually attest to that case. Will humor prove to be a great business strategy. The numbers won’t lie.