Blood Drive was a series on SYFY inspired by the "grindhouse" genre, and thus pushed the limits of what was suitable for cable television. A show about a "futuristic" 1999 where the cars run on human blood, it was unabashedly self aware and over the top, and this campaign leaned into that ethos by celebrating the genre it took influence from by keeping things retro, absurd, and slightly NSFW. We gave the campaign a consistently twisted voice unlike any other show on television. This resulted in content that broke all social metrics and holds the highest view count on the SYFY Youtube channel. Over 30 pieces of video content was created for this campaign.
Campaign Collaborators: Black Spot, Buddha Jones, Calvin Chu, Robyn Matters, Toi Phillips, Richard Smykowski, Max Tedaldi, Max Zaslove, Rachel Zeolla
We wanted the keyart to instantly signal the genre of the series and differentiate it from the other offerings on the channel. To do this, we enlisted famous artists Graham Humphreys and David Moscato (respectively) to create art for the show in their signature styles. The first, master image, depicts the characters and chaos of the series reminiscent to many classic grindhouse cinema film posters. The second one is based on clever illustrative interpretations often utilized in fanart or aftermarket merchandise. We purposefully kept the network logo off of the art and instead replaced it with the plain type "Syfy Cable Channel" for a bit of a low-fi throwback feel.
We wanted Blood Drive's first impression to be provocative, attention grabbing, and most importantly make people curious to find out more. In a first for SYFY, we created 12 different teases and published them all on various platforms all at once. Some teases gave a taste of the general plot, while others simply highlighted some of the more strange moments in the show. Below is a sample of four of them.
TRAILER #1: GRINDHOUSE INFUSED
Our first full trailer purposefully took all the tropes of classic grindhouse movies and ran them through the Blood Drive filter of self awareness and insanity. This included the over-the-top voice acting with embellished copy, excessive violence, and weathered visual graphics.
TRAILER #2: MASTER COLLECTION
Paying homage to late night cable, we wanted to highlight the uniqueness of the series with an infomercial like trailer, complete with its own jingle. Each episode was inspired by a different sub-genre within the grindhouse genre, and this trailer highlights that in a unique and meta way.
NOMINATIONS, AWARDS & RECOGNITION:
2017 Clio Entertainment Shortlist; Television/Streaming: Spot/Promo
2018 Golden Trailers Nominee; Best Original Score (TV Spot / Trailer)
To emphasis the fact that each episode takes homage from a different sub-genre within the grindhouse space, along with the Master Collection trailer above, we pre-released all 13 episodics of before episode 1 debuted. These acted as mini trailers, each with their own piece of vintage VHS style keyart and themed to the style of the sub-genre (which is visible at the end of each episodic and was released digitally as well). To emphasis the low-fi theme, we pillar boxed the videos and added digital distortion. From cannibals, to sexploitation, to horror, to westerns, Blood Drive covered it all. Below is a sample of four of the pieces showing the wide range of styles that influenced the show and our campaign.
PROMO: OVERLY CENSORED / HOTLINE
Due to the nature of this show, we expected to incur some hostility and concerns from people with certain sensitivities about what should be on TV. We also needed a completely clean spot to air during daytime and off channel, which severely limited what we could show. So, we turned what could potentially be a negative into a selling point and made a meta spot that not only called out the limited nature of what we could show, but offered a working complaint line recorded by one of the actors on the show that we used to create bumpers for throughout the season (second vid below).
The complaint line received hundreds of calls, mostly from people who were fans and in on the joke.
PROMO: MASTERPIECE (QUOTE SPOT)
When reviews came in for the show, we were pleasantly surprised that many highly acclaimed outlets were praising it. Blood Drive, however, couldn't just do any old typical quote spot. This show was an outlier, a rebel that wanted to stick it to all normal conventions. So, to highlight the positive press while continuing our meta brand voice, we hired the character who plays the "show runner" in the show itself to call out the press for revealing how sadistic they truly are for liking the show.
Blood Drive was a "show within a show," so during the telecast, to keep the immersion going for the viewer, we created fake ads for products that would exist within the Blood Drive universe. Warning, some of these are incredibly gross and distubring, but they're also incredibly fun.
We hosted a few pre-premiere screenings at theaters and opportunistically captured some fan reactions to create videos primarily for social that