TRUE BLOOD SEASON 3 ULTIMATE FAN EXPERIENCE by Hbo for HBO

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TRUE BLOOD SEASON 3 ULTIMATE FAN EXPERIENCE

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Industry TV Channels/Radio Stations and Programmes
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Hbo
Released May 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Special Events and Stunt/Live Advertising
Advertiser: HBO
Product/Service: TRUE BLOOD SEASON 3
Agency: HBO
Date of First Appearance: May 14 2010
Entrant Company: HBO, New York, USA
EVP, Consumer Marketing: Courteney Monroe (HBO)
SVP, Advertising & Promotions: Zach Enterlin (HBO)
Director, Advertising & Promotions: Taryn Winkelman (HBO)
Coordinator, Advertising & Promotions: Anthony D'Souza (HBO)
Director of Social Media & Marketing: Sabrina Caluori (HBO)
Social Marketing Manager: Lindsey Pearl (HBO)
Agency: (Civic Entertainment Group)
Agency: (Stuzo)
Media placement: Sweepstakes - Facebook - 14 May, 2010
Media placement: Ticketing - HBO.com & Facebook - 14 May, 2010
Media placement: Midnight Screening - 50 Markets Across USA - 1 June, 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
The key strategy for the “True Blood” Season 3 marketing campaign was to empower the loyal, established fan base to serve as brand ambassadors to energize fellow fans and recruit new viewers.

The Season 2 campaign had pushed the “Vampires are among us” theme. The challenge for Season 3 was to find a way to build on that excitement embraced by fans, broadening the reach even further and placing the show firmly within the mainstream. Using season 2 as a ratings benchmark, the goal for season 3 was to match the premiere (4.4 million viewers for the premiere) and sustain the same average of 12.6 million gross viewers per episode (including On Demand and DVR).

The target audience was adults 18-49, focusing on existing fans and potential new viewers among the genre core fan base: “Twilight Fans” (M/F: 18-24) and “Twilight Moms” (25-49).

Creative Execution
The Ultimate Fan Experience was the culmination of our campaign. The nationwide midnight screening event was hosted simultaneously in movie theaters in 50 markets. Fans were treated to the Season 2 finale, a live Q&A with the cast (via satellite), and a sneak peak at Season 3.

Tickets were awarded via on-air radio giveaways, a Best Buy Season 2 DVD partnership, and the True Blood Facebook sweepstakes. Fans visited the Facebook sweepstakes from 6:13 PM to 6:13 AM (vampire hours) for the chance to win tickets every 6 minutes and 13 seconds (the premiere was 6/13). Our Facebook and Twitter feeds gave fans an advantage, announcing which cities would next become active for ticket giveaways. The application also featured a heat map displaying a breakdown of fan activity, commenting, and instant win prizes. The event was our most visible point of contact with fans, and the crux of the larger marketing campaign for Season 3.

Results and Effectiveness
Over 10,000 fans attended the event with an additional 9,400+ fans participating via a live stream on the “True Blood” Facebook page and HBO.com. The nationwide screening elevated excitement for the season 3 premiere to a fever pitch.

Exceeding all expectations, 6.4 million viewers tuned-in for the season premiere, 39% higher than the previous season, and total viewership for the episode exceeded 14 million. Overall, the season averaged 12.9 million viewers per episode.