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

Ad agency Something Different took classic movie monsters and gave them "everyday problems" for the Charter Communications commercial. Screenshot: Charter

In a new TV spot destined to draw a complaint from either DirecTV or Dish Network to the National Advertising Division, Charter has cast four satirical monsters discussing everyday issues, including satellite TV problems, while riding the subway. 

According to AdWeek, the commercial was produced by Brooklyn-based independent agency Something Different last year. 

RELATED: Comcast gets more DirecTV flak for ‘80s-themed anti-satellite campaign

In the spot, the Grim Reaper, a werewolf, mummy and mad scientist are just shooting the breeze on their morning subway commute. Routine inquiries are made regarding current projects.

Mad Scientist: “I’m still working on that death ray.”

Mummy: “Still?”

Mad Scientist: “It’s not easy. You’ve got to find a mountain, you’ve got to get permits…”

Mummy: “Well, if was easy, everybody would do it.” 

The subject of weekend plans is then broached. The werewolf will just be howling at the moon. The mummy will be “summoning the apocalypse. Oh, and the twins have soccer.” 

But the Grim Reaper is distracted by a text conversation. 

“Sorry, the kids are going bananas. Satellite dish went out in the rain again,” he says.

Mummy: “How can they sell something that doesn’t always work in the rain?”

Mad Scientist: “It’s going to rain eventually, right?”

The ad ends with the tagline, “Satellite is bad. Spectrum is good.” 

Notably, AT&T and its DirecTV unit have complained twice to the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division in the last six months for also-satirical Comcast ads that poke fun at satellite-delivery issues. Both times, the NAD has asked Comcast to stop running the commercials. But both times, the campaign had already run its course. 

For their part, the Something Different creators had fun making the spot. “We all just laughed at the idea of these evil people thinking someone else was horrible,” Chief Creative Offer Tommy Henvey said in a statement, “and it gave us a way to make our point that felt a little more unusual.”

“It was fun to take tropey clichés of '30s and '40s movie monsters and dimensionalize them for the modern world,” added the commercial’s director, David Shane. “We gave them everyday problems and below the surface emotions to create a sense of long-standing relationships between old friends, co-workers, wives and husbands.”