While not an apples-to-apples situation, there’s still a strong psychic tie between this 1970 PSA against the oncoming Pay TV juggernaut and our modern-day Net Neutrality fight. The dawn of Pay TV was an undeniable game changer for just about everyone on Earth, and we’re still seeing the ripple effects of that shift in a world where media bills aren’t just accepted, they’re expected.
I’m not sure who specifically was behind the creation of this PSA, but both the movie theater industry and Network television had obvious interests in keeping Pay TV out of their consumer’s home. The PSA played in theaters and has a real “Let’s All Go To The Lobby” feel to it, so I’m going to assume they led the charge. Let’s have a laugh at it.
The message is clear: these other people who want to charge for entertainment are monsters. Let’s set aside the ethicality of whether the guy on the left is more justified to charge for entertainment than the guy on the right and instead focus on their examples of “monsters”.
Doctor Frankenstein’s Gentle Yet Misunderstood Creation?
Indeed, it seems that past the toothy, metallic, Pay TV Monster itself, the only supporting monster is that Dracula guy who’s strangling a woman. Monstrous on two counts!
What’s not monstrous is the idea that the consumer has a say in how they receive their media and their entertainment. Win or lose, that’s a conversation that started long before this PSA and continues even today, and it’s a beautiful thing.