To sell tickets to its inaugural event, the Transylvania-based Untold Music Festival is working the Dracula angle. In partnership with Romania's National Blood Transfusion Institute, it has launched "Pay With Blood," a campaign that lets you buy a day pass with plasma.
"We were talking about how to incorporate Dracula into our festival, and after seeing the numbers and how behind Romania was in blood donations, we had this idea," Untold PR manager Stefana Giurgiu told the Guardian.
About 1.7 percent of the Romanian population are active blood donors, lower than anywhere else in the EU. (Vampire mythology probably doesn't help.) And to justify its existence, the Untold Festival needs hundreds of thousands of attendees to fill both its paid and free venues.
Assuming you've got time to spare and blood to give, Untold takes place from July 30 to Aug. 2 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Through this Friday, people who give blood at centers in Bucharest and Cluj will get one-day tickets; those who register to give blood online will get 30 percent off.
By noon on the campaign's first day, 45 people—many first-time donors—registered and gave blood. That doesn't sound like a lot, but Giurgiu adds, "My phone hasn't stopped ringing since we announced the campaign." (Hopefully those are donors, not rubbernecking journalists.)
While the Transylvania connection gives Untold's campaign special credence, this isn't the first time blood has been used to draw eyes elsewhere. In partnership with the American Red Cross, the Saw movie franchise launched "Give 'Til It Hurts," a Halloween blood drive that ran for six consecutive years, yielding nearly 119,452 pints of blood in all. Creative featured the nurses from the films.
In 2006, Lionsgate produced 1,000 limited-edition posters for Saw III splattered with the blood of Tobin Bell, the actor who plays Jigsaw, for the benefit of the ARC.
Dracula, wherever he is now, is slow-clapping—unless he's seen the creative above, because that probably just confused him. Do vampires have blood to give? Actually, hold that thought.