First Sling TV ads paint pay-TV companies as school-yard bullies

Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) has launched the first series of TV commercials for Sling TV since launching the OTT service in early February.

The spots depict pay-TV services as schoolyard bullies, delivering wedgies, nipple-twisters, wet willies and snarky comments to young adults who don't pay their cable bills on time, complain about customer service or who wish to downsize their channel bundle. 

The ads, viewable on YouTube, fly in the face of Dish Network's stated goals for Sling TV--that is to bring younger broadband consumers who have never had cable, satellite or IPTV into the pay-TV ecosystem. But the ads seem to be more focused on cannibalizing that ecosystem than adding to it. 

In one humorous spot, a boy holds a millennial-aged man on the ground, twisting his nipples and force-feeding him lumps of grass. "You'll pay for these channels and like it," he says. "Now write me a check."

In another spot, a girl in a cubicle farm dismissively tells a customer over the phone, "No, you can't lower your bill. You signed a contract." She then turns to a coffee-sipping colleague, remarking, "We've got a real Einstein here."

"Millennials have polarizing feelings about TV; they love the content, but hate the pay-TV model," Glenn Eisen, Sling TV's chief marketing officer, said in a statement. "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 reportedly counts around 250,000 customers. The service costs $20 per month and offers a handful of cable channels like ESPN, TNT, TBS, AMC, Adult Swim, Disney Channel, Food Network, HGTV and others. Users can also purchase additional channels, like HBO, for additional money. However, Sling TV could soon face additional competition from the likes of HBO Now and Comcast's planned OTT service, Stream.

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