Search and Social

Integrating Offline, Paid Search and Video: Geico and HBO – Vampire Insurance

by Ian Orekondy on June 8, 2009

How HBO and Digital Kitchen Utilized Advanced Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tactics to Support Their Innovative Campaign to Launch True Blood Season 2.

June 28th Update: see an overview of the integrated media plan and case study, including a behind-the-scenes look at how agency Digital Kitchen partnered with HBO, Geico, Gillete and several other brands to make this campaign a success.

And here’s a deeper look at how search engine marketing was incorporated into this innovative online and offline campaign.

Partnering with several brands, HBO and Digital Kitchen leveraged multiple offline tactics, such as outdoor billboards (like the one above) and posters like this one outside Rosetta’s NY Office on Hudson Street.

The offline and online tactics created search demand:

And they worked closely with their search marketing team to capture this search demand: for example, when you search for “vampire insurance”, they ran targeted paid search (SEM) text ads. And even these were innovative and integrated with the overall campaign, serving both HBO and Geico. Besides providing brand benefits to both HBO and Geico, the ad text ad units themselves leveraged new functionality: an expandable video preview:

Watch the video, then click on the text ad and you’re taken to the True Blood Site, where the world of Vampires suddenly starts to feel as real as in the show.

We might call this transmedia storytelling at it’s best. It’s Convergence Culture being leveraged by smart, media-neutral planning teams. HBO’s brand and media planning teams nailed this one, but not just because it’s cool; not just because each advertisement is relevant to the show’s fans; but because they add a deeper level to the show. Each incremental ad actually enriches the show and each advertiser’s role within it.

And in addition to all of this wonderful, difficult-to-quantify brand building; the companies are actually saving media costs through co-branding! Cheers!

For more creative examples: check out Digital Kitchen’s Flickr page.

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Marketing Genius February 6, 2011 at 11:13 am

Great case study. When will Google roll out these video plusbox PPC ads to other types of advertisers? It would be of great value for Pharma brands with their ISI info!


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