As someone who once, as a teenager, was watching this George Carlin bit when his parents walked into the room, I can appreciate SS+K's new HBO campaign, aimed at millennials, which rightly attests that some programming is just better consumed without your mom and dad around.
Seven new online spots feature awkward family scenes where a pair of hyper-oblivious parents sit down with their young-adult son and daughter to watch some of HBO's notoriously racy shows—among them, Girls and Game of Thrones.
It doesn't go that well.
Most of the spots involve the family silently watching sex scenes—always a good time, especially when the old folks pipe up with cringe-worthy banter. (Part of the humor here derives from Mom and Dad not actually seeming uncomfortable enough.) All of the ads end with the on-screen line, "Might be a good time for HBO Go," followed by a voiceover: "HBO Go. The best of HBO on all your favorite devices. Far, far away from your parents."
The better spot are the subtler ones—in particular, "Your Body, Your Choice" and "Faithful Dad." (The parents are maybe drawn a little broadly in some of the spots.) But most of them should earn a flash of recognition from young people, and may even drive consideration for HBO Go—a streaming service that's apparently pretty good, when it's working.
"The tension of watching TV with your parents is just ripe with comedic moments regardless of whether what you're watching is even graphic or shocking. It's just the dynamic that provides so much fodder," says Bobby Hershfield, chief creative officer at SS+K.
Adds senior copywriter Lindsay Lanpher: "From personal experience, it's always better to watch TV without your mother reminding you you're going to hell."
The seven videos will run on BuzzFeed and in HBO's YouTube and Twitter feeds. They were directed by David Shane of O Positive Films.
Project: "Awkward Family Viewing"
Chief Creative Officer: Bobby Hershfield
Senior Copywriter: Lindsey Lanpher
Copywriter: Richard Tseng
Senior Vice President, Director of Production and Innovation: John Swartz
Senior Producer: Kim Cross
Senior Vice President, Digital Strategy and Innovation: Kevin Skobac
Vice President, Group Account Director: Jennifer Barr
Production Company: O Positive
Director: David Shane
Executive Producers: Ralph Laucella, Ken Licata
Director of Photography: Marc Laliberte Else
Editing: Mackenzie Cutler
Editors: Gavin Cutler, Ryan Steele
Post Producer: Evan Meeker