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HBO's 'True Blood' Campaign Enters CTAM Hall of Fame

HBO’s sanguinary marketing campaign to introduce its dramatic vampire series True Blood has earned a place in the CTAM Hall of Fame.

CTAM, the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, since 1997 has annually honored a notable and influential marketing campaign from cable’s recent past by inducting it into the Hall of Fame. The campaign or concept must be at least five years old and have had a positive impact on the company and the industry. For more about the judging and past winners, click this link.

CTAM said of True Blood: “In 2008, HBO introduced a provocative new series that implied vampires live among us. It pushed the envelope on every level and brought supernatural into mainstream. The PSA campaign for the vampire league launched the show and the campaign to a mass audience.”

Marketing for the show included a multimedia viral campaign promoting a serum that simulates blood and allows vampires to walk among the living. It included catchy, bogus ads for a “Tru Blood” drink and faux vampire Web sites, as Multichannel Newsnoted at the time.

The other finalists that were being considered for the CTAM Hall of Fame inclusion were AMC: Breaking Bad; Comcast: The Slowkys; FX: Sons of Anarchy and USA: Characters Welcome.

The Hall of Fame induction was announced at an event, CTAM Think, Tuesday night in New York City, attended by about 250 people. CTAM at that event also presented its “Most Innovative” Mark Award – recognizing work that clearly and exceptionally exemplifies new thinking, pushes new boundaries, or sets new standards – to Comedy Central for teaser ads for the Kroll Show. CTAM said: “Comedy Central harnessed the power of social media to exponentially multiply impressions from a few select advertising placements for the Kroll Show. The ads were free-standing comedic content that the audience ultimately connected to Kroll Show, which premiered No. 1 in all of television in its timeslot among men 18-34.”

The other finalists for the “Most Innovative” Mark Award were Sony Pictures Television’s Breaking Bad Art Project; Turner Network Television’s “TNT’S Dallas and Jet Blue” campaign and Lifetime’s “Make it Work” Experiential Event.

A full listing of the CTAM Awards winners can be found in the upcoming Sept. 16 edition of Multichannel News and at CTAM's site.

Last week, CTAM announced its 2013 Rainmaker and TAMI Award recipients.

The Rainmaker awards, to members who play an essential role in building the cable business through participation in member company initiatives, went to:

  • Phil Bellaria, vice president, customer retention & loyalty marketing, Comcast, for his leadership on a cross-company effort on best practices to retain customers.
  • Paul Hockenbury, executive director, research and analysis, Comcast, for his multi-year leadership in developing impactful research to advance cable marketing.
  • Beverly Gambell, vice president, marketing business services, Suddenlink Communications, for her long-term commitment and guidance, influencing the success of Business Services Council programs.
  • Mark Gathen, senior director, video product management, Cox Communications, for his multi-year leadership of advanced video programs for the Residential Products Council.

CTAM awards the TAMI to those who exhibit remarkable volunteer service and creativity in leading projects that benefit CTAM individual members. The 2013 recipients are:

  • Kenetta Bailey, executive vice president, chief marketing officer, TV One, for her multi-year commitment to enhancing the educational value of the Mark Awards competition.
  • Ed Gordon, senior director, distribution & audience research, ESPN, for leading a cross-category understanding of changing customer and viewer use of television.
  • Skip Harris, Harris Communications, for his successful support with CTAM’s executive education content development, including CTAM Wired, Unplugged and Think.

CTAM’s “Top of the Mark” is awarded each year to the highest scoring multimedia campaign through two rounds of judging. Out of 40 campaign entries, the 2013 winner is the “Colors of My Culture Mural Contest,” A + E Networks, which backed History En Espanol's launch Comcast’s Digital Preferred service in the Miami, Fla., area. It also increased Comcast subscribers through Digital Preferred sales and aided Comcast Spotlight’s sales effort with a local advertiser, Sedano’s Supermarket. “Colors of My Culture Mural Contest” was a call for entries of original designs depicting Hispanic Heritage. The winning design was rendered as a “paint-by-numbers” mural on Sedano’s store wall during a private community event.