The Hawpah

When thinking of the city of Boston, MA a few things come to most people’s minds: the Red Sox, cold weather, clam chowder, the word “wicked”, and, of course, that horrible Boston accent.  For those of you who may be unaware of this accent, it’s the same one that has been pouring out of TV’s for the past year thanks to DISH’s ad campaign for the Hopper.


In January 2012, DISH Network released their new DVR system known simply as the “Hopper.”  The system allowed viewers to record up to 6 shows at the same time, included AutoHop, which would let you skip over commercials, and had a program called PrimeTime Anytime, which allowed the owner to record every primetime show from the four major networks for eight days.

With such an amazing system, DISH had to come through with a hit ad campaign.  The campaign they came up with, which introduced the “Boston Guys,” was an instant hit.  The campaign featured a family from Boston, all of whom had extremely thick accents, who just sat around watching TV.  The first ad that hit the airways featured the “Boston Guys” sitting around saying “the hawpah” over and over again.  Take a look:

The commercial was such a hit that DISH decided to make a whole series of commercials featuring the Boston Guys.  The commercials spread like wild-fire and soon everyone was talking about the Hopper.

This campaign ties into Kenneth Burke’s theory of dramatism.  In all of the commercials the agents and the scene are the same.  The commercials all contain the Boston Guys and always take place in their house.  On the other hand, the act, agency and purpose continually change.

This past January, DISH improved the Hopper by adding Sling technology, which allows customers to view the shows they recorded on mobile devices.  DISH decided to bring the Boston Guys back for the new version but slightly shook up the campaign.  In this campaign, the agents still stay the same and the act, agency, and purpose still differ with every commercial, but now the scene changes as well.  The campaign takes the Boston Guys out of the house to show how the new sling technology works.

So far, this years campaign has been just as successful as last years.  Multiple commercials featuring the Boston Guys have come out since the campaign started in January, and as of now, the campaign shows no signs of slowing down.  All we can do now is wait and see where DISH takes the Boston Guys next.

– Zach Abramo