Real brands target vampires for ‘True Blood’

True Blood, the HBO vampire series that kicks off its second season next month, has embarked on a marketing blitz. And while its ill-fated Bloodcopy adver-blog deal with Gawker Media has gotten most of the headlines, its banner ads, in which real brands (Mini, Ekco, Geico, Harley-Davidson, reach out to vampires, are pretty amusing. Note I said "vampires" and not "the living dead," to make a distinction between the fang gang and the rest of the generally mindless media-consuming population (myself included, naturally). One ad shows a blood-red Mini and the headline "Type GO," with the "Type" and "O" rendered in crimson. It's hemoglobin humor! Harley offers a TrueBlood motorcycle that helps vampires "Outrun the sun." And yes, the humor continues in that same—you know what's coming—vein in the other ads. (Geico's Kash also appears, but even with the vampire motif, he doesn't "Count" for much.) It's all in fun, which is good, because the demographically insignificant vampire population wouldn't do much to boost sales overall. Though vampire brand loyalty is legendary, often stretching for a thousand years. If nothing else, this may mark the first time blood-suckers have been both the targets and creators of an ad campaign.

—Posted by David Gianatasio

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