Is this the beginning of the end? The first main promotional trailer for True Blood season 6 had those very words in the voiceover fuelling speculation that Season 6 make be the final installment in the much-loved HBO show about vampires. With rumors flying thick and fast since the announcement that there would only be 10 episodes this season the feeling seemed to be in general this would be it, a feeling that HBO has been quick to dismiss but I am not so sure and here are my reasons why ……..
Let’s start with where is all the promotion this year? I know I am not the only one that has noticed that it is conspicuous by its absence. In pervious years the prior season has been airing in the Sunday’s before leading up to the premiere and fans have tuned in desperate for the glimpses that they show for the upcoming season at the end. This year?? Nothing! Yes they are airing it at random times but there are no “Extras”. Season 5 just went up onto HBO on demand with little to no announcement about it.
Where are all the promos and sneak peeks? This year we have had 2 promo videos with clips and one “Blood Will Spill” clip with a bottle of Tru Blood smashing to the floor. Which brings me nicely to the fact that they have discontinued the Tru Blood soft drink that you could buy in the identical replica bottles. Now had they made a big deal of this, linking it to the “shortage” on the show with the factories being destroyed I would think this was a very clever promotional move leading up to a huge demand when they make it available again. This doesn’t seem to the case. It seems that they have decided it is just not profitable and thus no longer selling it. In fact I only found this out when I went to get some and as it was no longer being sold in Hot Topic or FYE I checked the HBO site to discover that you cannot get it anywhere. Hmmmmmm,
Talking about sneak peeks… we have had 2. TWO! We are 11 days out now and there is next to nothing being pushed. Independent fan sites are doing more to hype the upcoming season than HBO. Do they not realise by now that devout fans LIVE for those little sneak peeks. Almost always out of context we love to dissect and debate possible connotations and read far more into it than the writers actually mean.
We have had 2 posters (well the Blood Will Spill picture and then one proper poster of a screaming vampire that looks a lot like Bill) and that is it. I mean if nothing else you would think that HBO would take advantage of the fact that people buy the posters. Want to make more money for less work …. print them in a limited number! But no! Instead everything is fading away.
Outside sites such as Klout and GetGlue have also in the past been a huge part of the promotion process with fans vying for top spots as True Blood influencers and “checking in” to get limited edition stickers. As of right now Klout has confirmed with me, and I quote from their email “The True Blood program has long since ended and HBO does not have plans to do another program at this time” so there will be no Klout True Blood goodies this year. (Last year top influencers were able to get Free Season 4 Blu-Ray DVD’s before they released, A True Blood Comic Con gift bag, A Signed True Blood Comic, and a Lilith Pendant … definitely decent swag). GetGlue had a whole series of stickers leading up Season 5 with limited time check ins for a whole variety of things from when Promo videos released to favorite death moments. This year we haven’t even got a “Coming Soon” Sticker yet.
So does this mean HBO is keeping it all “In House”? I would like to say yes but even their promotions have been few and far between. They did host a signed giveaway for Season 5 DVD’s with a “Create The Book Of Lilith” promotion (mainly on twitter) and they have a “Support the vamps” thing going right now (Which other than getting your picture retweeted doesn’t seem to have any perks) but neither has been particularly well publicized.
It makes me question how influential Alan Ball may have been in all the promotional considerations. With him gone and a new show runner in place (actually a second new show runner with the original one leaving halfway through the filming of S6) everything has faded away …. coincidence? Or just the sad signs that this show has had its day and like the vamps will be going to ground …. maybe for good …..
***POST POSTING EDIT …… FROM TRUE BLOOD’s OFFICIAL TWITTER
@TrueBloodHBO – Follow us here all day on 6/16 before #TrueBlood: Live From the Set to learn how you may become a #TopTruebie, featured on @HBO.
So at least they are doing something on the premiere I guess ……***