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‘Dexter’ campaign gets away with murder

Dexterviral It’s not just kids who are freaked out by Showtime’s advertising for Dexter, the program about a forensics expert who moonlights as a serial killer. A new viral campaign is scaring the bejeezus out of plenty of adults. Those with a macabre sense of humor should visit SliceoflifeTV.com, where you can enter a friend’s name and a few other details. Soon enough, the friend gets an e-mail link to a video news report that makes it look like he or she has been targeted by a serial killer. Of course, the most successful virals are often the ones that either humiliate or terrify (see the old Ring Two viral from the U.K.). For the easily gullible, this Dexter effort more than fits the bill, as New York Times ad writer Louise Story found out when she sent it to a few friends and family (some of whom may have stopped speaking to her). The campaign was produced by London-based digital agency Ralph, which happily reports that in the U.K. it “proved so controversial that Ralph received calls of complaint from the public and London’s Scotland Yard Police.”

—Posted by Tim Nudd

UPDATE: David Gianatasio chimes in: “OMG. I got one of these e-mails, but I thought it was saying there’s a serial killer out there who has my name. I’m like, ‘David Gianatasio,’ spelled exactly the same, what are the odds!? I’m all like, ‘Now, when people Google me, they’ll think I write for AdFreak and I’m a serial killer.’ Then I thought...which is worse? Which!?”

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Topics: Showtime
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AdFreak is your daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd and David Griner.

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