Secrets Of Russian Guy, Mini-Giraffe Ad Revealed

One of the best TV ads I’ve seen in a long time comes to us from Direct TV in a recent piece featuring a parody of a Russian oligarch. The :30 spot, produced by Grey Advertising Group, has officially gone viral on the web and in my head - exploding into innumerable views on Youtube and elsewhere.

Secrets of Direct TV Russian Guy, Mini-Giraffe Ad Revealed

(Actor Tim Murphy was actually kissing a metal stand)

Recently disembarked from the International Space Station? Here’s the spot:


With much of the Tube-consuming public addicted to the ad, the language-mangling Russian character’s opening line in the scene, “Opulence, I has it,” is rapidly penetrating our lexicon.

As an obsession, the more I watch, the more I want, so my only problem with the Direct TV commercial is there’s an absolute dearth of intel on the piece’s behind-the-scenes.

Secrets of Direct TV Russian Guy, Mini-Giraffe Ad Revealed

(Actor Murphy appeared at MTV VMAs in character as, “Gregor Chigal“)

I want to know every detail behind how that mini-giraffe came about, who the actor behind the Russian character is, and the scoop on the photo of the blue-shirted soccer players flanked by a man resembling an authentic oligarch, Roman Abramovich. (Incurably sick. I am.)

Thankfully, I was able to get in touch with the two-person creative team from which the entire production germinated: Jon Kallus and Luis Romero.

Jon and Lu were kind enough to submit to my series of queries about their stunning work. Read more…

Sept. Emails About Andrews: “Non-Threatening”

Friday TMZ.com reported:

Erin Andrews

TMZ has learned Erin Andrews is outraged at DirecTV for not telling her about the sick, twisted, threatening emails until yesterday — even though the predator had been sending them since last September.

Erin’s lawyer, Marshall Grossman, tells TMZ, “We are outraged that these emails did not come to our attention until now.”

TMZ has learned security for DirecTV — which broadcasts “The Dan Patrick Show” — notified Grossman Thursday, even though the first sexual email was sent September 16, 2009 and the emails turned violent on March 14.

Grossman says Erin is “having a tough time.”

A rep for DirecTV could not be reached for comment.

After TMZ’s report, I spoke to a L.A.-based DirecTV source who explained that not only were those September emails about Andrews not threatening, they weren’t even read by DirecTV staffers until earlier this week.

My source said that only recently have DirecTV staffers received what the company would consider “threatening” emails about Andrews. Those emails, according to my source, were received and read earlier this week and reported to the authorities “instantly.”

After those recent emails were read, a search of the DirecTV email system revealed emails also about Andrews from September. Though the same person who sent the recent emails about Andrews also sent the September emails, my source said the September emails “were non-threatening.

Additionally, those non-threatening September emails about Andrews had never been opened or read by DirecTV staffers. My DirecTV source said that because of the large volume of email that the Dan Patrick television and radio show receives daily, sometimes staffers aren’t able to read everything that comes in.

I myself have worked on similar national shows and there were many days that we didn’t get to all the emails. By the next day, those emails were pushed so far down in the system that often they were never opened. Happened all the time.

What really happened here is DirecTV staffers alerted authorities immediately after the first threatening email was received earlier this week. Then more unread, non-threatening emails about Andrews were found, with DirecTV also alerting authorities to those.

Further, I was told by my source that even if those September emails had been read by staffers at the time, they would not have been reported to authorities.

NFL? On My iPhone? More Likely Than You Think

Do you love the NFL? We mean really, really love pro football, to the point where your fandom causes you to spontaneously spend hundreds of dollars on it per year - just so you can watch a lot of it on television?

NFL iPhone
(Hey cool, it’s an iPhone and the NFL and OH DAMN IT WHY WON’T HE GO AWAY)

Then, good golly, have we got good news for you! Following baseball’s lead, the NFL and DirecTV have just announced a plan to offer an iPhone application for fans to subscribe to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket service. Unlike the MLB plan, though, the NFL appears to have a giant disadvantage: it’s really not cheap.

Read more…

DirecTV Disaster Leaves Red Sox Fans In The Dark

Next week, Tim MacMahon live blogs Casey Kasem’s “America’s Top 40″.

• Red Sox Nation declares war on DirecTV for losing the Tokyo transmission.

Smashed TV

• But it’s a good thing the free couches didn’t arrive yet, or those would’ve followed the satellite dishes out the window.

• There’s still hope for Packers fans: Brett Favre isn’t officially retired yet.

• In his new book, Jose Canseco claims he helped turn A-Rod, Magglio Ordonez and Mike Wallace onto steroids.

Read more…

DirecTV To Show NFL Network On Blimp Over Blacked Out Cities

BLIMP SHOWS NFL NET GAMES OVER BLACKED-OUT BURGS: USA TODAY reports that DirecTV will show NFL Network games “on the giant video screen on its blimp as it flies above towns whose cable operators don’t carry” the channel.

Direct TV Blimp

The blimp will tantalize Tampa and Orlando NFL fans this week with live video overhead on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.Undeterred, NFL Network PR guy Seth Palansky said there is “zero chance” the NFL will clear the December 29 Patriots-Giants game on other broadcast outlets.

We’re just hoping no one calls in an air strike if the blimp is planning a maiden voyage over The Bean on Dec. 29.

Blimp Crash

Oh, the humanity!