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2009 PRO Awards: True Blood

By Aug 04, 2009

Agency: Campfire, PHD,…And Company, Ignition, Deep Focus, Behavior, Cornerstone, OMA, Spacedog, Grand Central Marketing
Client: HBO

Looking to generate awareness and viewership for True Blood, a new TV show about the vampire genre, HBO not only targeted its audience with this campaign, it engulfed and surrounded it to such a degree that the lines between the reality of their own world and the fantasy of the True Blood world became melded and blurred.

The show’s story line is based on the invention of a synthetic blood, which is put into a “soda-like” drink, thus freeing vampires from targeting humans. To make the drink realistic, Campfire and multiple other agencies created an ad campaign for the beverage, including out-of-home, national print, online and television, to drive traffic to the trubeverage.com. Truly original were the drink’s real vending machines placed in offices with signs that read “sold out”. The campaign also included backlit posters, coasters, pint glasses, custom delivery trucks, and a separate direct mail and print campaign with copy written in “dead” languages. Faux organizations such as the American Vampire League, as well as news shows, a comic book, and a blog were created to foster both community and communication among the show’s followers.

Results blew targets away. Roughly 6.6 million viewers tuned in for the first episode; the website generated 29.5 million page views, over 100,000 user contributions; 6 million video views and 50 million PR impressions. The audience was engaged for a total of 50,000 hours.

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