HBO True Blood

For a show that’s so original — and so thoroughly sucked us in last season — it’s surprising to see HBO take such a well-traveled path to advertise the second year of True Blood. Fake ads, even cross-promos, simply aren’t anything new, and they don’t do justice to the vampire series they seek to promote. While last season’s advertising revolved around the marketing of “Tru Blood,” the synthetic substance featured on the show, the latest effort incorporates real brands like Mini and Harley-Davidson with faux ads targeting the vampire stars themselves. A Mini ad taunts, “Feel the wind in your fangs,” while a Harley execution promises, “Outrun the Sun.” The campaign is attention grabbing — you can’t help but do a double take when you register the vampire references. But there’s the hitch: if the original non-vampiric ads wouldn’t grab you to begin with, these won’t either. -Eleftheria Parpis