Broadcast on Showtime stateside, the hit horror/dark comedy series Dexter has a home across the Atlantic with FX, which was behind a somewhat startling and effective viral campaign that has now picked a BIMA award for Best Use of Viral Marketing.
"We're very happy with the campaign," says Jay Armitage, co-founder of creative agency Ralph, which developed the viral. "The ability to genuinely prank andscare someone was critical and this made people want to send it on to their friends. We're always trying to push out the boundaries in clever and interesting ways and the personalised nature of the campaign demonstrates this."
The campaign for the show about a Miami-based vigilante serial killer/forensics analyst centered on a send-to-a friend destination that was essentially a false news item that makes the recipient feel that they are the next victim of a serial killer on the rampage. Mischievous friends can enter your information including gender, age, job and a personal message on a site which comes attached with a temporarily frightening fake video about the report, which names you as next and then lets you eventually send your friends the "Dexter Treatment." According to numbers from Ralph, the Dexter viral spawned 300,000 unique emails and 750,000 page views since its launch, and even roused Scotland Yard in the process.