2014 Winners


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

Have questions? Need help?
Contact Zoe Sherwood at 416-408-2300 x237 or zsherwood@brunico.com.