I’ve got zombies on the brain. Not literally, thank goodness, but they’ve been figuring prominently in my day-and-night-dreams, especially since I saw World War Z in the theater, and then watched it again just two nights ago on-demand with my nephew. What, exactly, is it about dead carcasses looking to feast on live flesh that makes it such a rich well to dip into again and again and again (a la the “Resident Evil” series, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Zombieland, etc. etc.)?
I’m not sure, but something about being eaten alive by dead people has certainly tickled the human imagination. The zombie wave does not look to be dying off anytime soon, judging by the long list of zombie movies in development, pre-production, and production. It’s a good thing, too, because our Marketing department has ridden the zombie wave to notable success: we just recently won the B2B Marketing Awards for “Best Integrated Campaign <$200,000,” “Best Direct Mail (Multi) Campaign,” and “Best Email Campaign.” This was in addition to winning the Stevie Awards for “B2B Campaign of the Year” and “B2B Marketing Team of the Year” earlier this summer, for the same zombie-themed programs.
When zombies influence B2B marketing
It all started last year on September 8, 2012, when my boss, Christine Nurnberger, tossed off an email to her team citing the CDC’s zombie preparedness campaign, with the subject line: “Seriously – how do we tap this?” Well, we ended up “tapping” it by first creating a “Zombie Apocalypse” disaster recovery survival guide and an infographic titled, “How to Move to the Cloud and Survive a Zombie Attack.” We used these in email marketing campaigns last year, and then when World War Z hit the box office in the summer of 2013, we used the opportunity to refresh these into a “Zombie War Survival Manual.” But my favorite part was the “Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit” – a camo backpack containing everything a non-dead person needed to get through the inevitable onslaught of the undead, including such goodies as “zombie repellent” (aka Silly String), a Regal Cinemas gift card, and Max Brooks’ “Zombie Survival Guide.” (That’s the guy who wrote “World War Z,” by the way, so I think he knows what he’s talking about.)
I loved those Zombie Survival Kits so much I tried to snag one for myself, but was caught red-handed. I wonder what our supersonically creative Marketing team will come up with this year as a Halloween theme. Maybe a series of survival guides for another far-fetched doomsday scenario (can anyone say, ‘SHARKNADO?’)? Maybe a video of me dancing to Gangnam Style – now THAT would be scary! Or maybe we’ll just keep surfing the Zombie wave…it’s been “killer” thus far!