I love being wrong. I love those rare occasions when advertising surprises and makes me sit up and take notice. Lately, we’re seeing an injection of cleverness in the form of vampire advertising.
These ads, for real products, are not intended for normal folks, who shuffle about during their morning commutes and Saturday golf outings, but for those sinister night-dwellers known as vampires. Welcome to the world of HBO’s True Blood, where vampires live right alongside humans, with sexy results.
What I love about these is not only the fact that custom ads were cooked up with a fictional audience in mind, but rather how they are so matter-of-factly folded into conventional advertising space. Chances are, a fair number of would-be onlookers will totally pass these billboards by without a second thought. But for those who look, a treat.
There’s also some accompanying viral videos, designed to look as if they are the conventional pass-around video ephemera that litter the Internet these days.
True Blood, the show, is now in its second season. Critics had mixed reviews, but in the absence of other normal networking programming, it seems many folks are watching. Meanwhile, True Blood, the brand, is doing extremely well. A simple but effective gesture in this scenario is HBO’s decision to sell merchandise from Merlotte’s, the restaurant featured in the series. Much like the Bayside Tigers t-shirt, or a Bartlet for America campaign poster, artifacts from television are sometimes allowed, if not encouraged, to enter the real world on the other side of that glass divide. It is a testament to a well-created brand and tribe that follows it.
a pint glass from Merlotte’s
So now the obvious question: If you were a vampire, what brands would you buy? What defines your consumer experience when food and drink are pretty much out of the question. I suppose True Blood is first on your shopping list.