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Lou Piniella Mouths Off For DirecTV

Lou Piniella (Photo: Chicago Cubs)May 12, 2009: DirecTV continues to ride a wave of popularity, based in part on its offbeat spots that merge reality with fantasy, the latest example of which features Lou Piniella, manager of the Chicago Cubs. The El Segundo, Calif.-based company, whose trademark spots show actors and athletes seemingly in actual movie or sports scenes but who then break character to tout the benefits of DirecTV, said in its Q1 financial statement that although earnings fell 46% subscriber growth hit a four-year high, with new subscribers up 67% to 460,000, while its customer turnover rate hit a 10-year low. Piniella joins Peyton and Eli Manning and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as sports figures to do commercials for the broadcast satellite provider. In the spot, a coach at a kid's soccer game is trying to direct his players, who run with the ball rather than kick it and aim for the wrong goal." Piniella, wearing his Cubs uniform, then steps in. "If you don't get this under control you're going to miss today's Cubs game," he screams at the coach. But the coach is calm and pulls out his cell phone. "Don't worry, Lou," the coach explains. " I have DirecTV. I can set my home DVR to record this afternoon's game right from here." As he did in his Aquafina spot from last year, in which he seems to be yelling at an umpire but actually is seeking to maintain his gruff image, Lou calms down. "Ohh," smiles Piniella. "Pretty clutch," the soccer coach replies. He then gives Piniella a slap on the butt - but reality sets in and he actually slaps a soccer Mom's butt - whose husband is none too happy." The spot will run on network and cable. Lead agency is Deutsch, L.A. Back to Home Page