This was the premise that Digital Kitchen based its clever new campaign for HBO’s latest season of True Blood on….
The agency has created a selection of virals (shown together in the film above) of news reports that feature ‘real’ amateur footage of vampires or, in one instance, a 911 phone recording of vampire attack.
The virals follow a series of print and posters ads for the TV series which contain an even more interesting twist: a HBO tie-in with different brands to create ads that advertise products supposedly aimed specificially at vampires.
“The idea we had was based on the conceit that if vampires are living among us, why can’t they be marketed to just like any other demographic?” explains Digital Kitchen on its website. “HBO loved this thought and loved our original layouts which showed a host of well-known brands, all hawking their vampire wares. HBO was crystal clear … ‘great idea, but can it actually be pulled off?’ Sure we could have gone with faux brands and advertisers but what fun would that be? So we put a shortlist of brands together, mocked up some ads and started cold calling.”
Among the brands that took part in the eventual campaign are Gillette, Monster, Mini, Harley-Davidson and Ecko Unlimited. Digital Kitchen then worked with the marketing people at each of the associate brands to make sure that their new ‘vampire’ ads were as authentic as possible.
The resulting ads are striking enough to make you look twice, and, while it’s unusual to see two brands appearing together in the same ad, everyone involved ends up with the kudos of having been involved in something cool.