Salt Lake City marketing firm Clearlink was looking for a new way to publicize its CableTV.com division. The site offers a search engine for cable, Internet, and mobile phone deals by ZIP code (earning transaction fees from participating brands per user purchase), as well as TV entertainment news and interviews.
The result was Zombiefied, an interactive motion comic on transforming extras into zombies that heralds the Oct. 13 Season 4 premiere of The Walking Dead. It has already gone viral with more than 2.8 million views on Facebook alone, with shares on other social media, like Twitter, Google+, StumbleUpon, and Pinterest.
“As fans of the show, we thought first about what really makes The Walking Dead so fascinating,” says Emiah Gardner, a CableTV.com social media specialist who spearheaded the effort. “The relationships between people in an apocalypse was one, but really, what would the show be without the undead? In researching the behind-the-scenes aspects, we were shocked at how much time, effort, and detail goes into making every walker-filled scene.”
The idea began germinating in January, when CableTV.com asked its Facebook fans what show they wanted for the site’s next campaign. Of the 50 million votes, more than 20 million picked The Walking Dead, trailed by Game of Thrones (4 million) and Family Guy (2 million) as a distant second and third.
Although they’d toyed with single-panel interactive illustrations for shows like Family Guy, says Gardner, “we had too much good content for a simple infographic and wanted to make something that would stand out and that fans could explore and appreciate.”