What’s hot? What’s everyone talking about? What’s the 411? In the world of public relations, it’s crucial to know what our clients’ customers are excited about, as companies must anticipate trends in order to leverage the demand they create. I doubt many anticipated the current vampire phenomenon sweeping the nation, but yet it happened, and it’s leaving the public with a growing thirst – a thirst that marketers in all industries are anxiously trying to quench.
Regardless of one’s personal opinions about the living dead, it’s become difficult to not admit that vampires and their fangs are everywhere. They are in our television sets, filling the aisles at our bookstores and strategically hung on the racks at our favorite department stores. They have literally “sucked” their way into our lives.
Friday was a big day for the supernatural world. Vampire stalkers (yes, myself included) across the nation were able to finally see the second installment of the Twilight Saga, New Moon. The mania associated with the film’s release has opened many companies’ eyes to a potentially new customer base within the movie’s fan base. As a result, they are acknowledging the impact of this phenomenon by gearing their products, promotions and advertisements towards the pro-vampire community.
Volvo believes vampires and New Moon will sell its cars. The company has recently released a campaign using vampire hunk and New Moon character Edward Cullen as its point of focus. The advertisement highlights scenes from the movie and welcomes its fans and customers to access its Web site, whatdrivesedward.com.
Burger King created a New Moon fan pack for its most loyal vampire fans. The pack consisted of trading cards, coupons and movie memorabilia.
AT&T has also taken a bite out of the excitement surrounding New Moon. The company partnered with 2ergo to provide ringtones, wallpapers and mobile games to its customers through the New Moon mobile site. The site allows fans to download games and songs and provides access to its Facebook page.
Whether you want to believe it or not, the United States has found itself living in a vampire-loving day-and-age which Anne Rice, Buffy and Angel could never have anticipated. Vampires have literally “come out of the coffin” and are appearing at the forefront of our nation’s (and pop culture’s) minds. It’s important for public relations practitioners to recognize trends like the current vampire obsession and incorporate them into their company’s campaigns and messages, where appropriate. This allows them to effectively align the client’s and company’s goals with the needs, wants and, in the case of vampires, obsessions of their target customers.