News Articles

Courteney Monroe, Executive VP, Consumer Marketing, HBO

6/21/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

Courteney Monroe has fine-tuned the tricky
art of using social media and viral marketing
to promote HBO’s slate of series
online, on the network’s various channels
and in traditional media. Monroe and her team’s
campaign to support HBO’s latest hit, True Blood,
has pushed the boundaries of these new marketing
concepts.

Courteney Monroe_HBO“As a piece of programming, True Blood is one of the best marketing canvases
we could be given,” Monroe says. “It’s such a fun show and it’s so full of such rich
characters and story lines that it lends itself to really fun marketing.”

Monroe has found many original ways to capture audiences’ attention when it
comes to True Blood, a campy vampire drama based on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie
Stackhouse novels. Last summer, HBO and its hired PR firm, Campfire NYC,
launched a sponsored blog, called Bloodcopy, allegedly written by a vampire from
Bon Temps, Louisiana. Since both vampires and Bon Temps are fictional, it seemed
obvious that the blog was as well.

To promote the blog, HBO did a promotional deal with Gawker and announced
that Bloodcopy was the latest addition to Gawker’s family of blogs. A few reporters
picked up the story as if Gawker really did acquire a new blog, so when they
found out it was all just a marketing ploy, it stirred up quite the flap.

“Gawker took a lot of flak for it and it created all this controversy, but in the
end it really amplified the noise around the season-two premiere,” Monroe says.

Monroe and her team have done other out-of-the-box work around True Blood,
creating advertisements set in the show’s universe and targeting vampires, but featuring
real products. Brands such as Monster.com, Harley-Davidson, Mini Cooper
and Gillette allowed HBO’s marketing team to create advertisements for them.

“There’s no real way for advertisers to associate themselves with HBO or its
programs, but we found a tongue-in-cheek way for these brands to associate
themselves with True Blood,” Monroe explains. “Surprisingly, we didn’t have any
trouble finding advertisers who wanted to do this.”

Beyond True Blood, Monroe’s marketing staff also created two online campaigns,
The HBO Voyeur Project and HBO Imagine, that were “experimental campaigns
we did on behalf of the brand at large,” she says. Both marketing campaigns can
be found online at HBOVoyeur.com and HBOImagine.com.

Monroe began her career at HBO in 1998 as a manager of advertising; she’s
been in her current position since March 2008. Prior to joining HBO, she was
manager of customer retention and loyalty marketing for American Express, an
associate of corporate communications at Salomon Brothers and an account executive
at BBDO.

Promax/BDA
Conference Highlights

2010 Brand Builder Courteney Monroe is scheduled
to appear on the first day of Promax/BDA in
the CMO Summit. The conference program also
includes an interview with boxing champ Sugar Ray
Leonard by Monroe’s colleague, HBO Sports President
Ross Greenburg.

What: In Conversation With Sugar Ray Leonard: Insights of a Champion
When: Wednesday, June 15, 2 p.m.
Where: Diamond Ballroom, JW Marriott, LA Live

 

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