Comeback or not, Randy Moss is a marketing genius

Getty Images

On Sunday, former NFL receiver Randy Moss spoke in giddy terms about a potential comeback to the NFL. Coincidentally or not, DirecTV debuts on Monday a new Sunday Ticket commercial featuring Randy Moss and “Petite Randy Moss,” a shorter version of himself who has cable not satellite.

Even if Moss is truly thinking about playing again, his decision to re-insert his name in the national conversation as the commercial launches is the work of a marketing genius. Otherwise, who would have even shrugged at a guy who has been out of the NFL since the 2012 season doing a commercial?

Of course, it may not be a good idea for the commercial to generate so much buzz, since this specific version of the Rob Lowe-style alter ego spots suggests that Randy Newman was right, after all.

While it’s a tongue-in-cheek approach to getting people to buy DirecTV, there are definitely lines that shouldn’t be crossed. Last year’s “Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe” commercial actually created a bit of a dust up regarding the notion that the cable-owning Lowe can’t urinate with other people present.

“What if he didn’t have a leg or an arm?” said the CEO of the International Paruresis Association last November. “Are you going to make fun of them?”

Eventually, DirecTV dumped the Rob Lowe ads not because of the potential for offending people with the characteristics deemed to be undesirable in the commercials but because DirecTV was making unsubstantiated claims about the differences between satellite TV and cable. The approach works with Sunday Ticket because the difference is that DirecTV has it and cable doesn’t.

Still, look for some of the Short People of the world to not be thrilled about the Moss commercial, especially since DirecTV has no qualms about taking people’s money, regardless of how tall they are. Or aren’t.