Ah yes it’s that time of year again when pop culture, holidays, and marketing collide in a whimsical bloodbath. But if you look closely, beyond the blank eyes and bared fangs you’ll find a great example of how to tap social media to advance your message.
I am talking, of course, about zombies. Yes, those brain-dead, flesh-craving former friends now out to turn you into meal. Aside from wandering the streets moaning and looking for a meal it turns out they are kicking butt in the online world.
This weekend the AMC kicks launches the new season of Walking Dead, the new pack leader for zombies. Couple that with the approach of Halloween and you’re bound to be sure to see a lot of references to the undead.
Being undead seems to be all the rage, but why use it as a hook for marketing your brand? Maybe that’s because the zombie phenomenon has taken on a life of its own, pardon the pun. It’s something we discussed here a year ago. And the fever has continued unabated.
Just ask the big (tasty) brains at Oxford University.
Researchers at Oxford decided to test their data mapping chops by looking at the popularity of zombies around the world. They did so by looking at where people searching for zombies on Google were coming from. The result shows that the trend is decidedly concentrated in North America and Europe.
“The results either provide a rough proxy for the amount of English-language content indexed over our planet, or offer an early warning into the geographies of the impending zombie apocalypse.”
Which brings us back to why zombies are the ideal ambassadors for so many brands. Let’s say you’re trying to encourage people to prepare for less apocalyptic, but no less scary, disasters like floods or tornadoes. Then you might create a badge like that up top, and promote it with a blog post on how to survive a zombie attack. That’s what the rather serious people did at the Centers For Disease Control. (I’m sure it was influenced by the fact last season’s Walking Dead ended with the explosion of the CDC headquarters.) By the way, go ahead and click that badge, you’ll find some great information.
Or maybe you’re a hardware chain wanting to talk home repair and lawn care with people who aren’t likely to pay much attention. Then you’d create the Zombie Preparedness Center. The Westlake Hardware folks note that not only do they offer chainsaws and sledgehammers for warding off zombie attacks, but they don’t hold a grudge against their now undead neighbors. That’s why they offer a full range of body repair tools such as caulk, bolts and duct tape. The clever section of their website has been “liked” by nearly 12,000 people.
Then there’s The Yoga Outreach, a Vancouver-based charity trying to get more people into the studio. Rather than the typical marketing efforts with new age music and zen-like imagery, they cast zombies. in a 90-second video.
The pro-bono work by John St. agency is shot in bleak tones with plenty of obligatory leg-dragging zombies. The piece shows a trio of undead splitting off from the crowd for a yoga class. Afterward they come out decidedly still zombies, but much happier.
The campaign’s tagline, Come Back To Life. And so far 72,000 living souls have watched the video. So next time you’re trying to come up with clever ways to get people talking about your business don’t just think outside the box. Try thinking beyond the grave.