We had previously covered True Blood’s bloody iPhone ad, which we found to be a very visually compelling tool to drive curiosity for the season’s premiere. PHD and Medialets (media agency and provider of cross-platform rich media advertising and analytics, respectively) worked together to develop and track the ad, and have since shared some campaign results.
According to Mobile Marketer:
“the goals of the campaign were to excite existing fans, intrigue the uninitiated, and garner the attention of the industry to boost awareness and drive tune-in.”
To that end, HBO found:
- The campaign as a whole was successful—more than 5.1 million viewers tuned in to True Blood’s season three season premiere
- This represents a 38 percent increase over the previous season premiere and a 19 percent boost over the previous season’s average viewership
- The ad functioned as a gradual screen take-over; viewers browsing through the Flixster or Variety apps would see their first touch of the screen generate a bloody fingerprint. Tapping it again generated yet another fingerprint, until the blood pours down and takes over the screen. Ultimately, you arrive at the activation; a tap-to-watch-trailer call-to-action with a banner ad at the bottom
- 98% of the people who had the ad automatically expanded engaged by tapping further
- Of consumers presented with just the banner ad, 11 percent then tapped the banner and expanded it to do something within the application
- On YouTube, the True Blood iPhone creative demographic video was viewed 10,000-plus times in seven days
- More than 1 million impressions delivered across multiple applications
- The best performing application click-through rate, technically in-application video views, was 8.73 percent, with auto-expanded banners close to 8 percent and user-expanded banners just above 2 percent
The campaign succeeded for several, arguable reasons; the media (Flixster and Variety apps) and creative were developed specifically for the mobile environment, and for how viewers interact in that space. While it can be argued whether disruptive ads like this are annoying or effective, True Blood’s results demonstrate the later; it doesn’t hurt that the property’s fans (and users of an entertainment app) are probably already hungry for content from the property. While it may not work for every type of message (unlikely for hard-hitting sales & promotional message, or for talking at a brand’s customers), it may work when you’re offering your customers something they want – engaging content.