Waiting Sucks.

10 Nov

               My guiltiest pleasure will suck the life right out of you. Its more than just things that go bump in the night. It’s an elaborate schema of twists and turns of mystery, action, romance and just a drop of humor in an ongoing television show. You’re probably dyeing to sink your teeth into whatever I am talking about right? Well I know how much waiting sucks, so I’ll give you a stab at it.  It’s True Blood.

True Blood has become a mass media success. The show is about a young women, Sookie Stackhouse, who had her world turn upside down when vampires ‘came out of the coffin’ to mainstream with society. Sookie finds herself in a romantic relationship with vampire and suddenly she is knee deep in the super natural world. Sookie’s small town of Bon Temp seems to be just as involved in the new world myths and mystery as her. No one in Sookie’s life seems to be able to keep themselves out of trouble, which the premise for the show and its characters.

The program True Blood is produced by Alan Ball’s (the creator of the HBO show Six Feet Under) production company Your Face Goes Here Entertainment who is in association with Home Box Office (HBO) production. HBO who owns the rights to True Blood is a premium cable company owned by the conglomerate Time Warner.

Time Warner is a massive media company with operations in television, film and publishing. Time Warner owns multiple networks including but not limited to HBO, TBS, TNT, and CNN. CNN has corresponding radio stations that Time Warner holds ownership of.

Time Warner is also the owner of high profile production companies responsible for blockbuster pictures and hit shows. Their production company Warner Bros. is also owner of New Line Cinema and Picturehouse Productions (which is a part of HBO). In terms of publishing, Time Warner’s company publishes hundreds of magazines in all different genres including TV and entertainment.

The True Blood concept started out as a series of Novels by Charlaine Harris titled The Southern Vampire Mysteries. The show’s creature, Alan Ball, picked up the rights to adapt the novels to television from Harris and HBO immediately went into development.

In the summer of 2008, the show premiered. In order to gain publicity for the show, the marketers came up with a brilliant campaign. The plan was a viral marketing scheme was to send emails to high profile bloggers of a letter written by a vampire confessing his truths and wanting to be revealed to the world, much like the premises of how the show begins.

The very sneaking marketing ploys continued with MySpace and Facebook pages advertising the fictional True Blood beverage. HBO ran documentaries on vampires and tried to get the public intrigued in the idea of the living dead. Seductive and very sexual ads ran in entertainment magazines, mostly in the ones owned by Time Warner, and commercials on HBO, and its sister networks, and had people wondering what the show was about. The campaign ended up paying off and the show started out as a huge success, drawing in millions of viewers.

With the success of True Blood, it is important to keep the viewer up. As the new season is due out in late spring, advertising for the show should start soon. I have developed a cross promotional campaign to promote the show.

The first plan of action would be to begin showing shows and movies involving vampires in a positive perception on all the networks owned by Time Warner. Making the vampire themed programs suitable for the individual networks will expose the viewers of all different networks to the idea of vampires but in programming that they are most comfortable with.

Showing programs with vampires portrayed positively will cause the audience to want to root for the vampires. Creating that connection will influence the interest in vampires. This is when the networks continue to show more vampire related shows and movies. Before the audience knows it they are indicated with the super natural creates. The peaked interest will hopefully transfer over to seeking out vampire related subject matter like True Blood.

The next step would be to continuing running ads in magazines. Entertainment magazines are a great source to have ads because the readers are interested in entertainment, especially a high profile show like True Blood. The scandalous ads are more than provocative; they also have a lure of mystery. Marketers can play off both those features.

Having the author simultaneously releasing the newest addition to the series in coordination to the premier of the next season would help to boost excitement for existing fans of the book and the television show. The media around the book release would only benefit the show.

Ads can be run in magazine’s that are primarily for men. Men’s interest could be peaked by the sexually orientated ads. Visa versa, in magazines targeted towards women, women could be intrigued by the romance and passion prevalent in the photos. Both sets of magazines would be ones owned by the Time Warner Company.

Another marketing ploy could be to flood YouTube with clips of ‘real’ vampire or supernatural sightings. The multitude of clips would gain popularity and controversy. Hype about the authenticity would create talk as to the reality of vampires. The publicity could spark an interest in the subject of the undead and in the show. As buzz is being created, commercials for the new season of True Blood could come out at the same time.

The entire buzz about vampires would have the public biting at the chance to keep up with the undead trend. They would be sucking all the vampire publicity up. Waiting until dark for the coffins to be open would be almost impossible.


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