AToMiC ROI: SILVER
Experiential Engagement: BRONZE
The Walking Dead - Rotting Finger Countdown
Date of implementation or launch:
February 5 – 10, 2013
The agency’s job was to drive anticipation and viewership for the February 2013 mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. To succeed we needed to go beyond the show’s rabid fan base and reach new potential viewers. The problem: they had a total budget of $50,000.
To make the most impact with little money, we set to create an innovative experiential event that could gain high sharing in social media through fans, and ultimately, non-fans.
Their starting point was to identify a common behaviour in events worth anticipating: the Countdown. They believed that, by giving the show’s social community content on a daily basis, they’d be able to extend our reach with tweets, retweets, shares and original posts. They also knew, to achieve high viral sharing, the essence of the idea had to be simple: it had to be easy to describe in tweet or a blogger headline.
The agency then created a countdown in an unmistakably Walking Dead way, something unlike any countdown ever done before. They created The Rotting Finger Countdown. A massive installation of zombie hands provided a “can’t –miss” spectacle at Union Station, where more than 200,000 pass through every day. Each day, a zombie finger was broken off as each day counted-down to the show. Each finger was available by contest to fans who tweeted a picture of themselves at the installation with the #TWDFeb10 hashtag.
The presence of “live” zombies added impact to our launch. They leveraged this to attract Toronto-based media in broadcast and print. We used photos from the launch day to drive blogger outreach. After one day, the Rotting Finger Countdown became a global phenomenon covered by 60 international blogs.
Results were phenomenal.
- Over the course of 5 days, we gained over 18 million Twitter impressions
- They generated 900,000 impressions in Toronto’s biggest traditional publications
- They achieved 3.2 million post-impressions in media across Canada
- They generated 11,000 new Canadian Facebook fans.
- In total, we turned a $50,000 budget into $500,000 in AEV.
- The mid-reason return of Walking Dead generated the highest viewership numbers of the show’s history, and a new record high for AMC
Client: AMC - The Walking Dead
Chief Creative Officer: Judy John
Creative Director: Judy John, Lisa Greenberg
Group Creative Director: Morgan Kurchak
Copywriter: Frank Macera
Art Director: Jonathan Guy, Andrew Hart
Agency Producer: Franca Piacente
Print Producer: David Eades
Account Director: David Kennedy
Account Supervisor: Jeremy Farncomb
Production Company: Family Style / Liz Dussault
Designer/Props: Performance Solutions
Prop Builder: Carl Troughton
Makeup Artist: Complections College of Makeup Art & Design - Lisa Slonetsky, Katie Eckenswiller, Gail Roberts
Hair: Sierra Cermignani
Wardrobe Stylist: Samantha Diluciano
Locations: Joel Kondrat
Videographer: Ian Webb