The Walking Dead: Zombies Under the Street | AMC | Work

Case Studies

2014

The Walking Dead: Zombies Under the Street

Challenge

The Walking Dead was the #1 show in America, the crown jewel of AMC. Season Four had drawn record audiences, but the program took a months-long hiatus in the middle of the season that slowed momentum. A lot was riding on its return to the airwaves. Adding to the pressure, the second-half launch would coincide with the start of the Winter Olympics. With only a week before airtime, AMC was looking for a big idea to resuscitate the show’s faithful audience, on a limited budget.

Solution

To bring the excitement of the show back to life, we raised the dead. We created our own version of Season 4’s iconic zombie pits under a sidewalk grate outside of Union Square Park in New York and filled it with 15 zombies in professional-grade makeup and costume. As hidden cameras rolled, we captured the reactions of passersby when our zombies snarled and grasped from below with rotten, undead hands. We got scores of phenomenal reactions from New Yorkers, which we carved down into a 90-second video. We worked with AMC to craft a distribution strategy to maximize content virality across their social and digital channels via paid, owned and earned media. The we pressed go. Greenlight to content launch was exactly one week.

The video garnered over 10 million views and 400 million media impressions within five days, becoming the most-viral piece of content in the show’s history. The season 4.5 launch slayed the Olympics and tied the season premiere in ratings, keeping momentum strong for the zombie juggernaut.

Visionary

Daring

Ridiculously fast