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Vampire Fan Base Runs Thicker Than Blood Online
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Vampire Fan Base Runs Thicker Than Blood Online

There has been increasing mainstream interest in and gravitation towards all things vampire, most recently spurred by the Twilight books/movies and the HBO series, True Blood. And even if these aren’t familiar topics to you yet, marketers are keen to the vampire mystique.

Vampire-related sites are drawing audiences on the Web. In June 2009, the official Twilight movie site was the top online vampire-related destination, garnering 553,000 unique visitors who spent an average of two minutes and 45 seconds on the site during the month (the New Moon trailer is a minute and 47 seconds long). Vampire Wars on Facebook and Vampire Wars on Myspace.com ranked No. 2 and No. 3, with 386,000 and 272,000 unique visitors, respectively.

Top 10 Vampire Sites Ranked by Unique Audience for June 2009
RANK Site Unique Audience Average Time per Person

(hh:mm:ss)

1 Twilight 553,000 0:02:45
2 Vampire Wars on Facebook 386,000 0:12:23
3 Vampire Wars on Myspace 272,000 0:37:13
4 Vampirefreaks.com 225,000 0:17:59
5 The Twilight Saga 211,000 0:15:44
6 Twilight Guide 209,000 0:06:52
7 truebloodwiki.hbo.com 142,000 0:28:42
8 watchtrueblood.net 120,000 0:02:06
9 Twilighters.org 105,000 0:25:34
10 Vampfangs.com 78,000 0:10:55
Source: The Nielsen Company

Interestingly, unique visitors to Twilight over-indexed among people between the ages of 25 and 34, despite originally sold as a book series for young adults. Unique visitors 25-34 were nearly twice as likely as the average Web user to visit the site in June. Women are also 44 percent more likely than the average Web users to visit the site.

Demographic Profile for Twilight for June 2009
Demographic Group Audience Composition Index Unique Audience
Male 50 131,000
Female 144 422,000
11-Feb ** **
17-Dec 159 72,000
18 – 24 122 61,000
25 – 34 187 149,000
35 – 49 98 156,000
50-64 57 71,000
65+ ** **
Source: The Nielsen Company

**These web sites have insufficient sample sizes for reliable projection of audience size.

Advertising for True Blood Steps Outside the Box

When HBO geared up for the second season premiere of True Blood, they hired Digital Kitchen to create an interesting ad campaign that would top the campaign for season one. Digital Kitchen enlisted the help of at least six major brands, from Harley-Davidson to Gillette, to create mock brand ads targeted to vampires. In advance of the new season, HBO increased their online image-based advertising for the show by almost 5,000 month-over-month, displaying 72.3 million online image-based ads in June 2009.

Did all of the advertising create the fervor that HBO was after? While buzz on Twilight eclipsed online discussions surrounding True Blood, there was a surge of conversation after the season two premiere. The number of online mentions nearly tripled the day of the premiere, increasing from .03 percent of all online conversations on the 13th to .07 percent on the 14th, which in turn also helped HBO buzz to increase during the days surrounding the launch of season two.

True Blood Helps Draw Online Video Viewers to HBO’s Site

With the second season premiere of True Blood on June 14, HBO experienced double digit growth month-over-month in unique viewers of video online, total video streams viewed, and time spent viewing video online. Total video streams viewed on HBO increased 299 percent, growing from 1.6 million streams in May 2009 to 6.4 million in June. Unique viewers of video increased 101 percent, while time spent viewing online increased 182 percent month-over-month.

While Twilight and True Blood have sparked a surge in interest around vampires, this is not a new phenomenon, but actually just a renewal of interest in these dark characters. Vampires have been a popular subject of fear and intrigue, from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, to Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, to today’s Edward Cullen of Twilight. While the subject is the same, the avenues for connecting with other fans and staying up to date on what’s new are evolving. While you may have discussed Brad Pitt’s character in Interview over coffee with a friend 15 years ago, today you would share you love of last night’s True Blood episode with friends via Facebook.