In the new effort, Mini is one of several real brands being pitched to vampires. The best part for Mini is that HBO is doing all the heavy lifting, including creative, media buy, and strategy. Creative launches this week lead up to the June 14th premiere of the show.
The effort comprises national print, online and out-of-home outlets, with print running in US Weekly, AM New York, New York Observer and trade outlets. Ads, featuring blood-red versions of the Mini Cooper and Mini Clubman, have headlines like: "Feel the Wind in Your Fangs" and "Type GO."
Digital ads will run on Yahoo, CNN, AOL, the "True Blood" home page on HBO.com, and the show's microsites: bloodcopy.com, fellowshipofthesun.org, and americanvampireleague.com. Out-of-home placements will run in New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. All of the ads contain URLs that lead consumers to HBO's "True Blood" page at HBO.com.
Other brands featured in the effort include Harley-Davidson, Gillette, Monster.com, and Geico. Kate Alini, Mini marketing communications manager, explains that HBO and Digital Kitchen, the network's agency, approached Mini a month ago. "After evaluating it, we thought it interesting, fun, and unique. They came up with the concept and were dead on and authentic with our brand identity. But it was their concept," she says.
Alini says the out-of-home ads run through June 21. As for Mini's own efforts, Alini says, economy notwithstanding, the Woodcliff Lake, NJ-based company is keeping its irreverent tone, but talking more about why Mini is smart buy. "Though we never lead with that, we are focused more on the retail message but in 'Mini' way."