Is Tony Romo a better actor than Rob Lowe?

Is Tony Romo a better actor than Rob Lowe?


This ad wants to say that real men, who are football fanatics, have Direct TV. Other men, who may like football but are also into things like sculpture and baking, have cable.

This ad is a continuation of a campaign that featured the actual Rob Lowe versus some unappealing version of Rob Lowe played, of course, by the actor himself. The latest iterations of the campaign replace Rob Lowe with other celebrities–in this case, Tony Romo.

If viewers are paying close attention, they realize that the actual Tony Romo personifies Direct TV and the version of Tony Romo, who is bald and sculpts and bakes, represents cable.  Unfortunately, viewers don’t pay close attention.  The ad’s viewers simply see Tony Romo, talking about all the football he can watch on Direct TV and another version of Tony Romo, who is less macho and has more varied interests.

What is most surprising about this ad is that Tony Romo is a better actor than Rob Lowe. Tony Romo’s normal self appears more relaxed and genuine than Rob Lowe’s slick normal self. And the version of Tony Romo that was designed to be unappealing seems more believable than the annoying versions of Rob Lowe. If the attempted jokes about the less macho Tony Romo were funny, viewers would have a better feeling about Direct TV.

Every ad implicitly promises the audience that it is worthy of their attention.  Ads are worthy of attention if they have news the audience wants or if the ads entertain.  These ads have little news and fail to entertain.  Few will eagerly watch the ads more than once and even fewer will be eager to share the ads with their friends.

The Direct TV experience and the sins of cable offer wonderful raw material.  But this ad wastes it.

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