Digital Kitchen mixes business cuisine

The June 14 debut of the second season of HBO’s popular vampire series also marked the debut of Digital Kitchen’s evolution to a hybrid agency for brands, while it remains one of Chicago’s biggest spot houses working with agencies.

Acting as HBO’s agency for the new “True Blood” series, Digital Kitchen produced mixed traditional and digital media, to create an audience-building pre-show campaign.

Digital Kitchen had worked with HBO on various projects in the past, such as creating “True Blood’s” main title. This time, instead of waiting to be tapped as a vendor, DK took the initiative and told HBO it wanted to show them buzz-building concepts for “True Blood’s” new season.

When HBO greenlighted the concepts in March, Digital Kitchen transformed into a hybrid agency.

“The campaign was a huge job, definitely the biggest one we’ve done for HBO,” notes Digital Kitchen president Don McNeill, who founded the Chicago branch of the Seattle-headquartered company in 2000.

An eight person team, led by DK creative director Jeff Long, designed and produced the ads, commercials, websites and virals and managed the media buy.

The campaign took off May 25: Billboards in L.A. and New York , print ads in TV Guide, the New York Times and New York Magazine, online ad placements on HBO, Yahoo, CNN and IMBD websites and on the DK-created “True Blood’s” microsite,

An ad campaign within the promotion targeted vampires, so to speak. DK created faux commercials working with national advertisers Harley-Davidson, Gillette, the Mini car, Ecko urban fashion and others. See