Sling TV Spots Take Aim at 'Evil' Promotional Pay TV Rates

Ads featuring Danny Trejo target promotional cable TV rates while touting OTT-TV service’s contract-free approach
Sling TV spot.jpg

Sling TV, Dish’s slimmed-down OTT-TV service tailored for cord-cutters, is kicking off a new national ad campaign that targets promotional pricing by its cable rivals.

In a spot featuring Danny Trejo, the actor known for playing villains and anti-heroes, goes right after the cable guys:  “People say I’m evil. I say evil is how cable companies trick you with a low rate and then, bam, your bill is over 100 bucks a month,” he says, before the spot transitions to Sling TV’s typical calling cards – no contracts, no set-top rentals, and a core service that starts at $20 per month.

To wrap it up, Trejo says: “Enough is enough. Stop paying too much for TV,” then proceeds to rip up a cable bill. Watch the spot below:

Update: Sling TV said the new national, multimedia marketing campaign, called “Who’s Bad?!” and produced in both English and Spanish, will be supported across TV, digital, mobile, social, print, and other media platforms. The campaign, Sling TV’s first nationwide ad effort, is launching with four video ads today. Additionally, Sling TV’s guide will also feature a curated selection of Trejo’s movies that are available to rent during the campaign.

With the campaign’s debut, Sling TV is also launching a new look for the brand, featuring a larger font against dark backgrounds. Additionally, the Sling Latino brand and its Spanish language and bi-lingual packages have been merged into the Sling TV brand.

“When creating ‘Who’s Bad?!,’ our goal was to amplify the frustration that many consumers have with the traditional pay-TV model, and Danny Trejo mirrors this negative consumer sentiment with a breakthrough style and delivery,” Glenn Eisen, chief marketing officer of Sling TV, said in a statement. “Danny is the authority on bad and gives a voice to the dissatisfied cable customer, setting the stage for a new consumer model and solution that Sling TV distinctly provides.”

Sling TV is launching the spot as the service looks to rekindle growth while taking advantage of a portion of the consumer base that has either cut the cord due in part to high prices and bloated packages as well as those who perhaps have never taken a pay TV service.

Dish no longer breaks out Sling TV subs, but OTT gains were not enough to avoid a loss of 281,000 net video subs by Dish in Q2 2016, the company’s largest quarterly video sub loss ever.

Dish, meanwhile, has introduced its own slimmed-down offering with a new "Flex Pack" offering.

Roger Lynch, Sling TV’s CEO, also had some choice words for other OTT-TV services, such as Sony PlayStation Vue, that focus on fuller-freight pay TV offerings.

“To me, it’s recreating the sins of the past,” Lynch said in an interview with Business Insider. “I don’t think that just recreating that will materially change the trajectory of the industry.”

Though cable operators have been faring better on the pay TV front, telco TV struggles drove sub losses to a record 812,000 customers in Q2, per SNL Kagan.