My second panel of day one was “Fan to Fanatic: True Blood’s Marketing Hook.” To sum it up most simply, it was a very inspiring discussion on the power of a brand’s fans. And more importantly, knowing who, said fans, are. By tapping into their very unique and extremely fanatical fan base, HBO (with the help of Campfire, Nice Girls Media, Digital Kitchen amongst others) was able to bring to life a wildly successful tv series before it even aired. They recognized right away who they were talking to: vampire and horror movie FANATICS, and gave them exactly what they wanted. A voice.
In the form of a variety of fictional websites /online experiences, a world was created for the fans to live and play in. The fans were treated like media, and the biggest fans were used to spread the word even more. HBO and its many agency partners hacked into reality and reaped the benefits. They realized that their fan community wanted to live and play in the fictional world 24/7, so they facilitated that. They gave their fans a voice and made them feel understood. In return, HBO has this very active fan community to thank for the wild success of its hit series: True Blood.