The Negotiations That Led to Beyonce’s Direct TV Commercial


By now, you’ve seen – and are sick of – Beyonce’s commercial for Direct TV, featuring her song “Upgrade.”  My question is this: how the hell did this commercial come to be?  I mean, sure, Beyonce’s an uber-recognizable celebrity and is pretty hot, so associating her with a product is a smart move for advertisers.  That I get.  I think the song blows, but the masses love audible excrement.  The part I just can’t understand is the S&M-esque “upgrade” letters she holds in her mouth:



 How the hell did this come to be?  I imagine the conversation between Beyonce’s agent and the Direct TV advertising executive must have gone something like this (in my little world where complex business discussions are conducted by just two people and an agreement is always reached) :

Direct TV: We’re big fans of your client.  We’re willing to pay her a good deal of money to appear in an ad for Direct TV.

Agent: That sounds great.  What did you have mind?

Direct TV: Well, we’d like to use her song “Upgrade,” for one.

Agent:  Alright.

Direct TV: And we’ll want her to dance, and at some point break from song to pitch the product.

Agent: Naturally.

Direct TV: Most importantly, I want Beyonce to wear a red rubber ball gag.

Agent: Excuse me?

Direct TV: Yeah, you know.  What, that doesn’t turn you on?

Agent: You’re kidding.

Direct TV: We’re willing to pay a lot of money.

Agent: It’s Beyonce.  She doesn’t need the money.

Direct TV: Money that you, as her agent, get a cut of.

Agent: …

Direct TV: Look, we’ll make it a bling gag instead, and the bling will spell out “upgrade.”

Agent: That does sound kind of hot.

Direct TV: I know, my erection is throbbing right now.