Reena Leone for Digitaria has done her now yearly review of True Blood’s integrated marketing campaign. We reported on it here last year and, upon review, you can see a marked change in the campaign from last year to this, in my opinion. It’s also good to see them using Facebook and Twitter in their campaign and I love the resurrection of Blood Copy with a new “twist”.
At that time she took an in depth look at different pieces of HBO’s integrated marketing campaign for True Blood. The show is now in its third season and HBO is still continuing to make the vampire world of Bon Temps a reality.
Reena writes: Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly love their marketing any more, they bring in baby vamp Jessica and her blog.
Background for those who have still not seen the show: Jessica Hamby is a new vampire (hence the “baby vamp” nickname) who was turned (i.e. made into a vampire) at only age 17. She is struggling both with her new-found undead status as well as your typical teenage woes.
First of all, Jessica is the perfect character to have an online blog. She is probably one of the least complicated and most relate-able characters on the show. And we know that the Internet is the perfect place for a 17 year old to pour her (non beating) heart out. She is the most believable, even in the most ridiculous situations. Her panic in hiding/disposing of a dead body before maker/homeowner Bill finds out was actually quite similar to trying to clean up after a party before your parents get home. We feel for her as she struggles to find love and acceptance, something we all understand, living or not.
Her blog’s overall design is a direct reflection of her age. It is a Blogspot customized layout, complete with a purple, starry background. Again, HBO continues to make it authentic. She posts short videos, defaces pictures of an ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend, and reminisces about her human life. It adds more to the show by showcasing another perspective. I should point out that this is also an excellent example of transmedia concept #6: subjectivity.
To keep current viewers interested and to bring in new viewers, HBO has been producing quite a bit of online video content.
Prior to Jessica’s blog and to the start of season three, HBO prepared viewers for the upcoming season with mini webisodes. Some were from the end of last season, some from this season, but all were a short glimpse into each main character’s state of mind when we last left them. HBO released one a week as it aired reruns of season two.
More recently, they have been showing “postmortems” after each episode. The postmortems can be anything from deleted scenes, to behind the scenes footage, to extra content not seen before. Two of my favorites have been the behind the scenes look at how they use real wolves on set and Snoop Dogg’s music video tribute to the show “Oh Sookie”. Each one is then posted on their official Facebook and on HBO’s official True Blood Wiki.
While on the topic of Facebook, I should point out that is how I found Jessica’s blog in the first place. Both the Twitter account and Facebook fan page are kept current and are constantly posting new content to enjoy.
And while on the subject of Twitter, Bloodcopy has been resurrected and modified to be a Twitter feed aggregator, posting all the latest tweets regarding True Blood. The feed is in real-time and can be filtered by character, superfans, HBO’s official True Blood account etc. Since the page is populated by user content, HBO does its best to warn you that the site could contain spoilers (but that’s OK, I love spoilers).
Three seasons in, HBO still finds new and engaging ways to connect fans of True Blood above and beyond what other TV shows do. True Blood has truly embraced the power of the Internet to not only promote the show, but to create the best possible experience for “trubies” like me.