"So I'm flipping through Entertainment Weekly and I come to an ad for some kind of beverage that waylays me with the headline 'SUCK ON THIS,'" writes Julia Rubiner in the Editorial Emergency newsletter. "The copy was so arresting that I was compelled to read on. Imagine my surprise when underneath the product name I encountered the words 'SYNTHETIC BLOOD NOURISHMENT BEVERAGE.'"
We're used to energy drinks with outlandish names and hyperbolic claims, but this ad for Tru Blood takes the concept into the stratosphere with its ghoulish approach.
Rubiner notes, however, that the next line of copy—HBO REMINDS VAMPIRES TO DRINK RESPONSIBLY—reveals that this print ad isn't what it seems, despite a claim that the Yakonomo Corporation imports Tru Blood exclusively for the "undead."
In fact, HBO invented this phony, yet superficially plausible, product to publicize its new series True Blood, and supports its branding with fun, tongue-in-cheek taglines like:
- Real blood is for suckers.
- All flavor. No Bite.
- Friends don't let friends drink friends.
"[T]he real genius of the campaign," says Rubiner, "[is] the advertising not of the show, but of this groundbreaking product." The indirect approach is not only compelling and effective—it's Marketing Inspiration.
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