Volvo feeds on the Vampire Tribe
Vampire trendIn case you haven't noticed there is a huge vampire trend on the net. This is fuelled amongst others by Summit Entertainment's upcoming motion picture “New Moon”, HBO:s True Blood, the CW:s Vampire Diaries, and now recently... Volvo.
Contrary to common belief vampires are not only for kids, because Neilsen reports that the “New Moon” website is over-indexed among 25 to 34-year olds. They also found that women are over-represented by 44 percent.
HBO's True Blood
True Blood is one of HBO:s flagships and is about vampires that now openly live among humans.
HBO hired Digital Kitchen to create an interesting ad campaign for the second season of True Blood. They hooked up with six major brands, such as Harley Davidson and Gillette to create mock ads targeted for vampires. They also made movie virals that were spread across the net.
According to DK the initial press and PR buzz exceeded their wildest expectations. The premier episode of the second season of True Blood lured more viewers the Sopranos finale two years ago, and it was up 51 percent over last season's finale.
HBO also runs BloodCopy, a fake blog for vampires.
Summit Entertainment's New Moon
New Moon is the second film in the Twilight series based on novels by Stephenie Meyers and it has a digital initiative of it's own. The movie invaded MySpace a few weeks ago offering free streaming of the soundtrack, video footage, an iPhone app, pre-ordering of tickets and much more. The Twilight Twitter account opened on October the 12th, but already has over 147 000 users. Mashable predicts that their Twitter account will hit one million followers in record speed, placing it in the top 10.
The connection between Volvo and vampires is made through the Twilight series. The lead vampire, Edward Cullen, drove a Volvo C30 in the first film and has upgraded to XC60 in New Moon. Volvo and Stephanie, the author of the novels, let's us know that this unlikely combination was not the result of deal-making. Stephanie consulted her car-crazed brother about the brands her leading characters should drive. Regardless of what you believe the Volvo C30 was given four minutes in the first Twilight movie.
Volvo didn't really “do anything” the first time around, but they are now seizing the moment to cater to vampire lovers around the world. Linda Gangeri, Volvo's national advertising manager, sees this as an opportunity to get out of the “saftey” strongbox that has defined Volvo for years. She claims that Volvo noted an increased interest for the C30 amongst 20- to-30-year-olds after the first Twilight release.
Volvo's vampire ambitions include ads, social media and interactive games. The microsite WhatDrivesEdward.com is the glue that keeps the campaign together. It let's all vampire fans know that the lead character Edward loves his Volvo's XC60. It invites people to compete for Volvo XC60 by playing a game, where participants are encouraged to work together to answer questions by collecting hidden clues across sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
Prestige Volvo in NJ is going straight for the money as they celebrate a Twilight Madness Celebration Sale during the movie premier weekend.
Volvo is doing some real tribal marketing, but the opportunity more likely stumbled across them than the other way around. It has been amusing to read the bewilderment among traditional marketing sources. Some say that Volvo is targeting tweens, and others girls and their moms. Volvo itself says that they are targeting 20-to-30-year-olds. A definition of the Vampire Tribe that cuts across traditional variables would have served them well. It will be interesting to see what they come up for the next Twilight film, and if this will give them a savoury taste for more tribaling.