Halloween 2021: remembering the best bloodsuckers of cinema and literature and their brands.
A huge layer of vampire characters has formed in modern art. And despite the negativity that was supposed to hover around soulless monsters who suck human blood for food or fun, some of them have become real rock stars. People talk about them, people dress up as vampires on Halloween and Comic-Con, they people adore them. And all because some vampires cleverly balanced evil with good with the help of competent marketing, original features, and sometimes even a unique selling proposition.
Count Dracula is a vampire brand from the Paris Chamber of Weights and Measures, a spherical bloodsucker in a vacuum and the most archetypal image of an immortal monster. The brand was born out of the Gothic novel by Bram Stoker, published at the end of the 19th century, and therefore is a typical "product" of its time - an aged nobleman, lives in a huge castle, smart and well-educated, with a pale aristocratic face. And, of course, he wants to take over the world, like any bad guy.
Although Dracula is many years old, this is still not the earliest mention of a vampire in literature. For example, in the story "Carmilla", which came out 25 years earlier, a vampire was a woman who had a morbid passion for ... you won't believe ... a woman. This can be called a pilot project of that time, which did not pass the criticism of focus groups. Perhaps it was the presence of women and the absence of feminist sentiments in society that made this story less popular. Still, it was the era when the man looked more organic in the role of an immortal aristocrat with Napoleonic manners, drinking human blood. However, the image became famous not only due to gender but also due to the diminishing authority of a rival organization - the church.
2. Edward Cullen.
In 2005, the world shuddered at the shouting "Wheeeeeeeee" of a female audience aged 10 to 80, because "Twilight" appeared on store shelves, and there was Edward Cullen. This is perhaps the most cheating vampire brand in the history of cheating vampire brands. Handsome, smart, wealthy, fast, agile, with a golden iris and diamond skin. By the standards of vampires, he is a vegetarian, as he eats not people, but animals. Such an "eco-product" from the fantasy world.
A wide female audience was clearly taken into account because Edward is a guy with firm moral principles: he will open the door, and give a hand, and save from death, and will not engage in sex until the wedding. The ability to read minds adds special charm, which so successfully does not apply to his beloved and which the vampire receives after conversion. The brand greatly influenced popular culture and the girls immediately stopped googling "how to become a fairy truly with strength and wings" and started looking for " vampire bite superpower". After all, it turns out that in this world, a useful feature is often a bonus to referrals. Here is a unique selling proposition for you: just one bite - and you are forever young, rich, and with superpowers.
Lestat de Lioncourt could have played symphonic metal in the band Versailles if he was Japanese and a real person. And so, this is the brand of "The Vampire Chronicles" by Anne Rice, clearly created under the impression of Count Dracula, but taking into account the visual appeal, which would be important for the film adaptation. He was given birth by a beautiful Italian woman, whom he later made an immortal Italian vampire.
Lestat has aristocratic habits, a corresponding sense of style, a penchant for philosophical reflection and amazing vitality. Neither a cutthroat, nor a knife in his chest, nor drowning in a swamp, nor burning in a house can still kill him, although it is not entirely clear why. Such vitality would be the envy of any brand from Amazon. In relationships, Lestat preferred men, but in the film adaptations, this is not shown so clearly. It is more of a hidden feature that is only revealed to the most loyal audience that has read the books. He is cruel and prone to theatricality, but his aestheticism and flair of danger together with noble facial features, cannot fail to resonate with the audience, both female and male. The image of Lestat is complex and multifaceted, especially considering the abundance of books in the series, the events of which sometimes contradict each other, and this riddle attracts the reader. De Lioncourt is not the vanilla queen Edward Cullen and not the bloody Count Dracula, but something more interesting. Sometimes you want to kill him, and sometimes - to justify.
In the first season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, fans followed the romance between Buffy and Angel, who was a vampire with a soul he received as punishment from a gypsy tribe. But when Spike appeared on the screen, Angel's brand faded and sympathy could not help but shift. Brand Spike is the quintessential bad guy in a leather coat – kind of a dead anarchist. He has black nails, white hair, and a sense of self-importance the size of a Sunnydale school. Having become a vampire, he drowned the city in blood and killed two slayers just to test his own abilities.
The creators of the brand did not plan to leave Spike on the series. It was a “seasonal limited edition” product, but the audience fell in love with it, and therefore Spike returned in subsequent seasons. What's the secret? Firstly, the bright contrast between him and the Angel, who, having a soul, looked like a Labrador, and without a soul was as unnatural as possible. Secondly, he acts like a damn rock star stealing the stage, even when he suffers from feelings for Buffy and confesses his love to the mannequin in the blonde wig. A leather coat, a red shirt, a manicure, and massive shoes also help. Thirdly, he is sincere. Soulless vampires in the Buffy world may not love in the traditional sense of the word, but they definitely feel the passion. Fourth, the female audience should be thrilled by how the bad guy changes because of the girl, and the need to take over the world turns into a desire to save it.
Blade is kind of Buffy, but a male. He is the protagonist of the Marvel comic book series and film trilogy, and his anthropological characteristic is half-human and half-vampire. His mother was bitten by a vampire during pregnancy, she caught the vampire virus (there was no vaccine - it's still not a covid) and passed it on to the child, but she herself died.
In Marvel, when creating the Blade brand, they have cheated in order to make the character seem like a vampire, but also kind of good. To fight bloodsuckers, he has the same abilities - remarkable strength, agility, speed, endurance, plus a skill of possession of a standard and twisting sword and pistol. But at the same time, he can stay in the sun, eat shrimp in soy-garlic sauce, wear a silver ring “Bless and Save”, and control his thirst for blood with the help of a special serum. That is, physically he is like a vampire, but in his soul he is a person with a firm position in life, eager to exterminate the evil from which he himself suffered. In other words, it's like a PC with macOS installed on it. Plus he has strong muscles, a leather coat, and narrow sunglasses that were terribly fashionable for that time.
The vampire archetype is as simple as the multiplication by 1, but this base can be played in different ways depending on the goals. To create an unambiguously negative image, it is enough only to strengthen the basic vampire traits and remove everything human. To attract a young and romantic audience, you need to remove the killing of people, add a struggle with vampire's nature and a love line. And you can play with abilities and competitive advantages depending on the expectations of your target audience.