Those clever marketing folks.

Dispatches from the editorial jungle, while my esteemed colleagues are off in San Diego.
These great posters have been around New York for quite a while. They’re advertisements for the upcoming HBO series True Blood, based on Charlaine Harris’ wonderful Sookie Stackhouse series. But as of May 21st, the folks at HBO/Campfire were waging a fiendishly clever directed campaign:

From the NYT:

On May 21, HBO, the Los Angeles agency …And Company, and Campfire, a small independent agency founded by two of the creators of the 1999 film “The Blair Witch Project,” 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.

How fantastic is that? You know you’ve arrived as a realio-trulio “pillar of the goth community” when HBO is sending you viral marketing in ancient Babylonian.
Pictures available on Screen Rant.

3 Responses to “Those clever marketing folks.”

  1. kris-alyx devereux says:

    i’d seen a few of the fake tesser ads on hbo, just really great viral marketing, still not as good as the tenga toppa gurren lagann meme that poped up a few months ago on 4chan all i’ll say is this lord viral marketing just bloody great marketing.

  2. Sumo says:

    Ha! I saw the “Vampires are Immortal. Support Human Rights. Say NO to the Vampire Rights Ammendment.” ad in a magazine. It took me the better part of the day to find out what the heck it was advertising. I finally had to phone a friend.
    The only website listed was
    Thanks for the thorough update!

  3. M. Lucey says:

    There are a slew of print ads posted and plastered around New York. I thought it very clever that first was the True Blood, synthetic blood with the tag line- “Friends don’t let friends drink friends” .. and then it moved to the “vote yes for vampire rights” and ” vote against vampire rights”.
    By the nature of the ambiguity,it causes an interested viewer of the ad to work to figure out what the product is, thereby making the viewer an active participant in the campaign. Which makes the ads more memorable, and more explicitly linked to the product than the ad would have been had it said “True Blood, coming to HBO!”

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