It's tough for the undead these days. First, they're expected to drink a tepid synthetic blood substitute instead of the real deal in HBO's True Blood. (And warming the stuff up in the microwave doesn't seem to help.) And now the CW is promoting its upcoming drama The Vampire Diaries with a blood drive under the tagline, "Starve a vampire. Donate blood." The stunt, happening at more than 200 high schools and colleges over the next five weeks, will dole out themed swag and "special snacks" for those who donate to the American Red Cross. (The newly drained will be able to watch scenes from The Vampire Diaries while they recover their strength.) Support includes cast appearances, PSAs, college-newspaper ads, fliers, posters, Channel One News, digital and online efforts from the CW and Alloy Media and Marketing (whose sister division, Alloy Entertainment, is one of the show's producers). The Vampire Diaries launches Sept. 10. The blood-drive idea isn't new, but it's been effective for entertainment properties in the past. Lionsgate has been sponsoring drives since 2004 for its Saw franchise. (Those sexy/creepy nurse posters work every time.) There's another one planned for Saw VI, which premieres Oct. 23, under the perennial tagline, "Give 'til it hurts." There's lots of bloodshed in this Saw series, but at least they're not trying to deprive a vamp of a good meal.
—Posted by T.L. Stanley