MELISSA BLOCK, host:
Swooning over sexy vampires is reaching epidemic proportions.
(Soundbite of movie, The Twilight Saga: New Moon)
Ms. KRISTEN STEWART (Actor): (As Bella Swan) I have to go. Hes going to make a scene. The Volturi will kill him if he reveals himself in the sunlight. No, Edward, dont. Im scared.
BLOCK: Thats the trailer for the second movie in The Twilight Saga called New Moon. It opens on Friday and already its breaking records with advanced ticket sales.
As Jesse Baker reports, there are plenty of marketers hoping that Twilight vampires will sell more than popcorn.
JESSE BAKER: Why wouldnt the Goth teen clothing chain Hot Topic have a Twilight movie tie-in. But Vitamin Water?
(Soundbite of commercial)
Mr. ROBERT PATTINSON (Actor): (As Edward Cullen) This is the last time youll ever see me.
Unidentified Man #1: Some thirst can never be quenched.
Mr. PATTINSON: (As Edward Cullen) I know what he did to you.
Unidentified Man #1: Luckily, yours can. Vitamin Water helps to fulfill your
BAKER: Vampires dont even drink Vitamin Water, and they certainly dont eat cheeseburgers. But Burger King has a New Moon meal deal. You can even buy the films hero, Edward Cullen, in the form of a Ken-like vampire doll, thanks to Mattel.
Ms. CINDY GALLOP (Brand Consultant, Former BBH Chairman): Essentially, the marketing machine is tapping every possible mode of influence and every possible key point to put in the widest possible audience it can, and I think theyre doing a fantastic job of it.
BAKER: Thats Cindy Gallop, brand consultant and former chairman of the international creative agency BBH. She says the New Moon vampires can appeal to even the most safety-conscious parents.
(Soundbite of commercial)
Unidentified Man #2: Meet the other stars of the Twilight Saga, the C30 and the XC60 from Volvo.
Ms. GALLOP: The whole partnership with Volvo as per the site whatdrivesedward.com, that has been very effectively leveraged and has brought Volvo to the attention of a much younger market than would otherwise be interested in it.
BAKER: If youre the lucky fan to solve the puzzles on the Web site, youll take home a Volvo just like Edwards. And malls across America are hoping to repeat the success of last falls Hot Topic Twilight tour. This time Nordstrom is joining up, offering fans the chance to meet cast members from the film. The catch, you have to spend money in the stores. Joseph Laycock, the author of Vampires Today, says its tough to envision hoards of teenagers lining malls awaiting a glimpse of Edward Cullens literary great grandfather.
Mr. JOSEPH LAYCOCK (Author, Vampires Today): Dracula, of course, has no sex appeal. He is hideous. And hes often described as being sort of like a leech, you know, his hairy palms and bad breath.
BAKER: Edward Cullen, in the words of author Stephenie Meyer, has a voice that drips like honey from his lips. His eyes the color of golden butterscotch and his skin literary sparkles in the sunlight. In short, hes irresistible for teenaged girls.
Ms. GALLOP: If you build a seriously engaged, seriously involved, seriously loyal, hardcore community around your brand, they will do your sunning(ph) for you. And I think thats what - the first Twilight movie did very effectively. It absolutely took its loyalist fan base derived from the books and it used them to get to everybody else - and thats what they continue to do with New Moon.
BAKER: Yet such broad, gauged marketing, says Joseph Laycock, comes with some real risks.
Mr. LAYCOCK: You can make the vampire more and more appealing and more and more friendly, but eventually if theres nothing monstrous at all about it, then youve sort of killed it. By the time you have a vampire Ken doll, youre pretty close.
BAKER: If Twilights vampires can survive sunlight and the loss of true love, surely they can survive the transformation into a Barbie doll.
For NPR News, Im Jessie Baker.
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