Altice, Charter take aim at DirecTV in new ad campaigns

Altice ad
"Carl" gets in over his head with skyrocketing DirecTV bills. Image: Altice screenshot

The barbarian hordes of over-the-top insurgents are jumping the moats and pounding at the gates, but the top U.S. cable companies continue to focus their ad dollars on wrestling back market share from satellite TV.

Case in point are the latest TV ad campaigns from Charter Communications and Altice USA.

In Charter’s latest iteration of a campaign featuring classic horror-movie monsters cast as just regular guys, the werewolf asks to pause a poker game, only to be told by the demon running it that can’t happen.

“It’s not me, it’s DirecTV Now,” the demon says. “There’s no DVR. I can’t pause it. I can’t rewind it. Before you ask, there’s no Showtime. No NFL Network, RedZone, CBS…”

“That’s evil,” responds the vampire, repeating the campaign’s tagline. 

RELATED: Charter hires subway-commuting monsters for latest ad campaign taking down satellite

Altice, meanwhile, showcases a Washington Redskins-attired young man named “Carl” who gets in over his head with alleged skyrocketing DirecTV bills, then has to resort to a descending cascade of janitorial work, pawning of valuables, dangerous medical volunteer experiments and underground fighting in order to support his football habit. 

In the end, a bruised and battered Carl plops down to watch a game, only to lose his satellite signal. 

“Don’t be football poor,” Altice advises. “Switch to Optimum,” the spot adds. “We’ll buy you out of your contract and lock in your [$70-a-month] rate.”