From Campfire, one of the true originators of viral marketing (founded by two of the creators of The Blair Witch Project), comes this impressive and robust campaign to promote – it turns out – the new HBO series True Blood.
From The New York Times: On May 21, HBO and Campfire… began sending cryptic letters in black envelopes sealed with red wax to people who might generously be described as pillars of the goth community: horror film bloggers, subscribers to the horror movie magazine Fangoria and the like.
The letters were written in dead languages like Babylonian and Ugaritic, but — to no one’s surprise — the recipients duly pitched in to translate them. The group effort, carried out on blogs and message boards, led to a macabre Web site guarded by a beautiful vampire, where visitors could view short prequel episodes to HBO’s new series and learn about a product called Tru Blood that obviates the need for vampires to feast on humans.
True Blood, about a world where vampires emerge from the shadows to join everyday society, would seem to be a good candidate for such a promotion. It comes with a built-in fan base of people who have read the vampire mysteries, but the plot is complex enough that viewers could benefit from some advance explanation.
The original news announcement:
Global reactions to the vampires:
Real life locals are interviewed:
The fake product, Tru Blood, a synthetic blood nourishment beverage that replaces the need for vampires to suck the blood of living humans – encouraging vampires once and for all to come “out of the closet” and into the real world:
Vampires begin coming out:
Hope the show lives up to the cinematic and dramatic excellence created by the campaign. Man, the advertising playing field is getting complicated – and way more interesting.
Read more about it here.
And on Campfire’s blog here.
Watch it unfold daily here.
And catch up on the entire back-story here.
Advertising finally comes to the front cover of magazines, via this glow-in-the-dark BMW 1 Series ad in Vice Magazine. Unannounced by the publication to readers, the execution offers a fresh surprise when the lights go out and you kiss your old lady (or old man) goodnight. Sweet dreams, camper.