Beyonce gives new (and vulgar) meaning to tinsel this holiday season.

December 9, 2008


No offense Beyonce but your DirecTV spot has managed to make even you hard to look at. Yes, you’re smoking hot. Yes, you’re talented. Yes, you’re a big time celebrity. But with the “Upgrade U” commercial, you’re flirting with becoming almost as reviled as Toyota’s “Saved by Zero.” Ouch.

Is it the jingle? Not being a fan (sorry, babe), I didn’t even know “Upgrade U” was a song from your catalog. The MTV-like credits superimposed at the commercial’s front implied as much. Either way, it’s annoying. Besides, wasn’t “Upgrade U” a DirecTV campaign last year? Enough already.

But the most troubling aspect of this spot is its fetish with gold and glitz. There’s more bling in this commercial than in the Scarface Special Edition DVD. Mired in a recession as we are, is it really appropriate for you, a rich celebrity, to be rolling around on a pile of gold jewelry? Is getting a better deal on cable really all that?

Yet, the reason I’m questioning this spot so much is because I’ve got a hunch it’s been hugely successful. Why else would DirecTV be rerunning it… and so much? Assuming the Beyonce campaign is delivering customers for its client, we are left with the highly subjective matter of opinion. Do people like this commercial? Does the agency. Do the clients?

The two criteria we use for evaluating creative at my shop are 1) pride of ownership (by agency & client) and 2) results. By that measure, the spot scores with sales results but falters on its lack of…what -Class? Integrity?

I’m sure the agency and its clients love this commercial. Or, more to the point, they adore Beyonce. I can just imagine the creative team, and a drunken suit, backstage at her show in Hollywood. What’s not to like, right? Well, for starters, this commercial. It’s stupid. Or should I say, in the parlance of hip-hop: stoopid.


9 Responses to “Beyonce gives new (and vulgar) meaning to tinsel this holiday season.”

  1. shes annoying!

  2. Inkieta said

    I agree. Stoopid commercial. In the middle of an ardous dance routine she’s talking to the camera wanting to upgrade u. Makes me laugh every time. Yep, quite annoying. I have Comcast.

  3. My family doesn’t get that commercial. Does she have a channel we can only get on DirectTV? No? Then why? What is the idea here? If there isn’t one, that would explain why we don’t get it.

  4. Sarah J said

    It was equally as bad last year when they ran it. Hopefully we’ll be spared in 2010.

  5. Van Gould said

    Could it become toxic for a star like her to be constantly endorsing products and appearing in nonsensical spots like this? I have seen her in everything from ads for L’Oreal to Disneyland in the past year. I personally just want her to get her Upgrade bling out of my face.

  6. Pale Writer said

    Yuck, yuck. yuck.

  7. SRP said

    For Beyonce, commercial success is directly related to musical prowess. All her exposure makes her a bigger (not lesser) star to her fans. Other genres of music find it hard to resist the call. But none are as upfront with it as Hip/Hop.

  8. Jason Fox said

    How about instead of upgrading me, DirecTV upgrades to a higher-bandwidth system and better/less compression artifacts? What’s the point of all my HD channels when they just make the mpeg-compression blocks sharper?

    As for the commercial, Steff is right in his last comment. Beyonce can crank out all the lame ads she wants. As long as she’s not hawking The Almighty Cleanse, they’ll have no negative effect on her career. Whether or not it helps the brands she’s shilling is another matter altogether. But then, I prefer Feria to L’Oreal.

  9. Ziggy said

    Why does it look like she’s jogging, taking a dump, and having a neck spasm at the same time? And she wants to upgrade ME????

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