This Creepy Dracula Ad Emerges From the Shadows After Dark

BBC Creative toys with shadow art

The best vampire advertising is always more chilling at night. And BBC Creative has found a fun way to deliver after-dark scares for its new show Dracula—with a billboard that looks unsettling in the daytime, but really gets menacing after the sun sets.

The board uses a technique called shadow art, where a light cast on objects creates an unexpected shadow. (Here's a good primer on the art form.) For the Dracula ad, the BBC Creative designers stuck a bunch of bloody stakes—useful, of course, for vampire slaying—into the left side of the board. At night, a light shining on the stakes creates a shadow that looks like the horrific, toothy visage of Dracula himself.

Here's a timelapse of the board in action:

The BBC made two versions of the ad—one on Brixton Road in London, and another on Upper Dean Street in Birmingham. As an added treat, a second OOH installment beneath the billboard features a glass box with a wooden stake inside. "In case of vampires, break glass," reads the copy on the box.

Here are some pics of the build:

"Our campaign for Dracula leaves the audience in no doubt they can expect something fresh and unexpected from this extraordinary adaptation of the vampire classic," says Olly Harnett, creative head of BBC Creative. "Our unique campaign is one of the most ambitious special builds we've ever undertaken—by day, a random assortment of stakes hammered into a billboard, but by night, transformed, as the Count springs to life in the form of a looming shadow."

"Coming from the makers of Sherlock, this version of Dracula is laced with dark humor and rock-star swagger," adds Chris Hooper, head of marketing at BBC One. "We wanted our campaign to reflect Steven [Moffat] and Mark [Gatiss]'s fresh take on a classic character, so each element has been designed to surprise—from the cheeky campaign line, 'Bloody Legend', to the use of "Lust for Life" on the trailers, and this special build, which takes a playful, tongue-in-cheek approach to the legend."

See the blood-red "Bloody Legend" executions below.

Finally, here's the trailer:

Dracula Official Trailer - BBC

BBC Creative
ECD: Helen Rhodes
Head of Planning: Mike Lean
Head of Production: James Wood
Creative Head: Olly Harnett
Creative: James Harfield, Mathew Rees, Reuben Dangoor, Vikki Stephenson, Dominic Lea
Audio: Lewis Clark
Pictures: Victoria Dalton
Producer: Ivana Bohuslavova, Sophie Knott
Project Manager: Astrid Reiner
Planner: Sam Pavey
Design: Johnny Ace, Amir Saidani, Kieran Ahmed, Geraint Williams
Editor: Thomas Ioannou, Chris Knox

Marketing Manager: Faye Jones
Marketing Executive: Lucy Hodson
Media Planning Lead: Marc Jones
Campaign Planner: Gemma Threlfall
Social Media Executive: Emily Mitchinson

Sound/Bark: Andy Humphreys
Stills Photographer: David Ellis

Talon Outdoor Media
PKS Media Solutions Ltd.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.


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