This campaign -- the second from DIRECTV in Commercial Closet -- features NFL players at home getting wired for the satellite TV service, along with their personal peculiarities.
With the installation complete, and his signature on all the paperwork, Jevon Kearse of the Tennessee Titans says to the installer, "Hey, good effort," then slaps him soundly on the butt -- just as football players do countless times on the field. But the installer's face goes cold at the physical attention.
In a breaking voice, the installer says, "I'll, uh, let myself out."
Ironically, the campaign's tagline is: "Feel the joy" -- the opposite of what the installation guy was feeling.
At the close, when Kearse says, "Hey, your pen..." the guy, who can't leave fast enough, shouts from the door "Keep it!"
The joke, of course, is the out-of-context butt slap, which apparently has homosexual connotations when not on the football field. The possibility of a woman offering the slap would likely have brought more of a smile to his face.
The setup in another from the campaign, featuring Indianapolis Colts star Peyton Manning, is similar but more vague.
When the installer says, "I suppose you'll be wanting NFL Sunday Ticket," Manning protests, "What, you think all I care about is football? Hey, I'm into other things. Foreign films, cooking shows..." (These obviously being sensitive, or less than masculine, tastes.)
At the end, Manning shows up wearing a cooking apron with a cookie sheet in his hands and offers the installer "bruschetta," an appetizer.
The earlier DIRECTV campaign also alluded to gay feelings from a man getting the service and follows the installer up the roof after saying, "I love you."
Kibbles , Austin, TX
This is NOT gay negative. I would feel that way if I was the installation man, and I am gay. Another commercial shows the installation man ready to do CPR on a customer, and his expression is one of "here we go again", not of disgust.
Billy , Cincinnati
I found nothing offensive about this commercial. The shock was just that he had slapped him on the behind in a completely inappropriate setting.
Megan , Hampton, VA
I didn't find this at all offensive. Anyone would have reacted that way, gay or not. It's a surprise to get tapped on the butt in any situation when it isn't expected. I love DirectTVs commercials. They have another when a guy passes out and the DirectTV man readily goes down to give him mouth to mouth. This one reguarly upsets my het friends.
Jeff Thompson , Ft. Worth, TX
I think you completely missed the boat on this one... this is about being slapped on the a$$ in a completely inappropriate setting. Is this a witch hunt?
Jay , Beverly Hills, CA
This is about football and football players....this is what they do on the field! If some person I did not know and did not want to, came up and slapped me on the behind, I would try to get away also. This is NOT ABOUT BEING GAY or gay negative. If anything I would say it is about the discomfort we all feel when a surprise, unwanted action is taken towards us!
Rick , Harlingen, TX
I, myself didn't find anything really offensive about this one. That's odd for me to say because I'm very strict about PC boundaries when it comes to advertising or media views -- but honestly, I think it was more funny and taken completely out of context. I know I'd be uncomfortable if an 8ft black man slapped me on the ass after I'd installed his cable.
Patrick , Brooklyn, NY
Contrary to popular comments, there is something wrong with this ad. Despite the fact that the action of the out-of-context butt slap is not in its traditional football setting, the joke is still 'on us.'
Clint , Thunder Bay, Canada
I agree with the comments in the overview. If a beautiful woman had offered the slap, the installer would not have been in such an incredible hurry to get out of there. In this ad, I can almost hear the cable guy saying to himself "feet don't fail me now!" The cable guy won't even come back to get his pen, as he shouts in a frantic voice while running away, "keep it!" It's homophobia.
Adrienne Carlson , Taylorsville, MS
Remember DirecTV did a commercial where after the cable installer finished installing the service, the wife hugs him for a long time. In the background the husband is looking ticked off (presumably because she is hugging a strange man, not her husband). But after she finishes her embrace with him, the husband then takes the opportunity to have a long embrace of his own with the cable installer. To me, this ad portrayed that it's okay for men to show their affectionate feelings towards other men. The cable guy was a bit surprised by the male hug, but didn't try to push him away. I think DirecTV ads are pretty funny and I don't think they mean to be anti-gay.
MDS , West Hollywood, CA
You write, "the out-of-context butt slap, which apparently has homosexual connotations when not on the football field"...I think the "butt slap" is one of the most misunderstood practices in the heterosexual dominated world of football and that it has homosexual connotations even on the field as well and with no "apparently" about it. There is a lot more homosexuality in football than the average hetero cares to acknowledge. The myth that "if men act macho and do macho things (like football), then they are hetero" is perpetuated here. We all know how untrue and misleading that myth is, because many gay men overcompensate for feelings of effeminacy by acting overly masculine.
Alec , Seattle
It seems to be automatic now to find gay innuendo wherever we look, but we'd be doing well to keep in mind that much of what we see is our own interpretation, and if we're looking hard enough for something, we'll always find it. Not everything is always all about us.
Steph , Fayetteville, AK
Sorry, I'm totally missing how this is gay-themed, or anti-gay. My first reaction to the commercial meshes totally with most of the sentiment here - it's about inappropriate behavior, not about anti-gay messages. I'm a lesbian, and if I was installing some woman's cable and she smacked my behind, I'd show myself to the door, too. In my opinion, the ad doesn't belong on the site.
Jake , West Lafayette, IN
I am pretty sensitive about stuff like this and thought the commercial was funny when I saw it on TV. It's what football players do... this has nothing to do with sexual orientation.
Fredrick Bertz , Tarzana, CA
I was not offended by this comercial as I felt it had no gay context at all. Other comercials in this series were offensive, such as the one where the guy was gushing effusively and telling the installer that he loved him, but even there, my disgust was not great. I think the advertisement was appropriate for the target audience and that many of those people would not have seen the gay subtext that the reviewer seems to have picked up on.
Mike , Brooklyn, NY
This ad is funny and hot. What's hotter than a real guy like Jevon making contact with another dude? The installation guy is hot also. Here's a thought -- suppose it were a female installation person and he gives her a slap on the rear. What outrage would occur? It's simple: the only objectionable thing about this ad is that it is unacceptable to touch someone else without permission. I guess pro athletes have implicit permission to touch each other (which is nice, it's so hot seeing them pat each other). Other than that, this ad is hot.
Abraham , Washington, DC
Like most comments on here, I fail to see the homosexual content in this ad and think that this is just a case of inappropriate behavior. Jevon's slapping was one of congratulations and thanks - something that he would do to a teammate who had made a great play on the field. Direct TV's point is that you'll be so happy with its service that you would want to "over" thank - but don't expect its installers to be as receptive.
Turquine , Nashville, TN
Do you honestly think that DIRECTV is saying Jevon Kearse is gay? Clearly, that is NOT what the ad is about. The cable guy is uncomfortable with being treated with this level of intimacy by a stranger. That doesn't mean the stranger is gay. Personally, I find nothing offensive about male butt-slapping in commercials or elsewhere. In fact, there's a DIRECTV commercial out right now where the spokes-model (a non-player, the football fan in the ad that we're supposed to identify with)slaps a football player on the butt. I love it.
Dean Morris , NYC
This cable guy is secretly thrilled enough to use a Freudian slip "let myself out." Who doesn't fantasize about a hot cable guy?
Kole , Bangor, Maine
I don't think this is offensive to homosexuals; rather, I think it's more along the lines of sexual harassment. I wouldn't appreciate it if a male OR female touched me while I was working!
Josh Elder , Georgetown, KY
I must be the only one who feels this is gay related. Maybe not exactly anti-gay but if you were to slap someone's ass outside of a football field, some people would freak out and assume you were gay. That's one thing that annoys me. We can touch each other on a court or field but not anywhere because then we're gay.
Steven , Brandon, Canada
I didn't really find the commercial offensive. I was mildly amused by the 'love tap.' Some don't understand where to draw the line between 'butch' and gay.
Steve , Montreal, Canada
Lighten up! This wasn't offensive at all.
Michael Marshall , Liverpool, England
This isn't an anti-gay ad, as all the comments seem to agree. The joke was the inappropriate behaviour, and - as you suggest - if it had been delivered by a woman it may have solicited a more favourable response, but that merely shows that the character of the installation man is straight. It is alluding to the classic notion of mix-matching attractions, the gender just happens to be the reason for the mismatch in this ad. Had it been a woman who delivered the slap, the installation man's character may well have responded negatively, showing his wedding ring as an excuse for example. To suggest that he would be interested is somewhat heterophobic - like straight men lack the self-control to turn down female advances. Would this website prefer that the installation man responded to the slap by giving the man a loving kiss and walking hand in hand into the sunset?!