Wednesday, April 20, 2016

DIRECTV: stay away from the pioneers!


I hate your commercials. The “Don’t be like this me” commercials featuring Rob Lowe, Peyton Manning, and Eli Manning were annoying. However, I understand you were marketing to the single male demographic. So they weren’t designed to peak my attention as a married female. The “Hannah and her horse” commercials were just weird; but, I get it. They were not designed for me. However, the commercials featuring the Settlers family has crossed a line. They are irritating and trivialize a group of people who risked it all for a dream.

First, you have no idea what being a settler would be like. Most of us today probably wouldn’t survive on the frontier as our ancestors did. Many pioneers faced toil and extreme hardships for the opportunity for a better life than what they left behind. They carved out homes in the wilderness of the American West. Traveling light, with only the barest essentials, they crossed the Great Plains. Building homes out of sod when no trees were available. Game and other animals provided fuel, food and clothes. Food was scare and only as the land yielded. Illness was frequent and often fatal. Battling the extreme weather in order to have something that was their own. The tornadoes in the spring and early summer. Or the heavy snow in the Rocky Mountains. You were at the mercy of the land, the weather and God. There were no sick days, disability pay, nothing! If you didn’t work, you didn’t eat. Everything you had was a precious commodity that wasn’t to be squandered or wasted. Pioneers even included doctors, blacksmiths, ministers, shop owners who were leave their established trades in the bigger towns and cities in order to build something better out West.

Pioneers left everything they knew. They left family and friends, maybe to never see again. The trip was long, difficult and dangerous. The trail was rocky with raging rivers, like the Platte, North Platte, and Snake and Columbia Rivers. All their belongings were packed in a covered wagon pulled by oxen. If the wagon were to break or the oxen die or be injured, you were often stuck or forced to go back. There was also the threat of Native American attacks made the journey fatal. The most famous pioneer trail was the Oregon Trail. Many of us who were in school during the 80s and 90s remembering the computer game. The trail started in Independence, Missouri, through the plains ending in present-day Oregon City, Oregon. Other famous trails include the Mormon Trail from Illinois to Utah and the Bozeman Trail to Montana. To poke fun at a life that was hard and carried no guarantees of success or survival is wrong. This country might not be here as we know it, if it weren’t for the brave men and women who forged ahead despite the risks and their fears.

Second, since when is “settling” a bad thing. Since when is making a choice settling. To settle is to resolve or reach an agreement. We have cable and while it hasn’t always been roses, we are overall satisfied. There are no customer-company relationship that is completely 100% satisfied. There are always moments where a customer will be frustrated with their service but overall, if they were truly dissatisfied they would take their business elsewhere. Before you pipe in and say that I haven’t tried your services before, I have. My husband and I had DIRECTV before and for a while it was great. We loved the service but after a while it started not being so great. It eventually came to the point that we cancelled. Oh, before I forget. When it comes to cost, there is no difference between the two services, so you can’t appeal to my pocketbook.

I know that you have seconds to grab the audience’s attention. To present your argument why I should buy your product. Some commercials are hilarious and grab your attention enough that you may consider buying a particular brand over a competitor. However, when you poke fun at a time in our country when individuals and families were risking everything for a better life is just wrong. To say that if someone has cable, they are living in the past and not “keeping up with the Joneses” with satellite TV is not the way to get new customers. Besides the “keeping up with the Joneses” argument doesn’t work with me. I’m sure it may work for some but not all. I’m sure you can figure out better ways to promote your product without insulting the memory of the pioneers.


Fed up TV watcher