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'Warm Bodies' and the Rise of Zombie Marketing
By: Marion Guthrie
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The recently released film Warm Bodies is a paranormal romantic comedy told from the point of view of a zombie. It's a story of a unique friendship between Julie, a young woman, and "R," a zombie, and we should add it to a growing list of TV shows like The Walking Dead and celebrated movies like Dawn of the Dead and the cult classic Shaun of the Dead that filmmakers have used to encourage our curiosity with zombies. Whatever is at the root of our infatuation, by tapping into it, companies are using the undead to breathe life into their brands.  
 
For example, look in your local toy stores for undead goodies, from Legos (check out the LEGO Zombie Apocalypse page on Facebook) to dolls. The gaming sector is no exception. Resident Evil, SirenHouse of the Dead, and Dead Space (among others) have built their reputations upon some form of undead. Late last year, the U.S. streetwear brand Rocawear got into the act by introducing tattooed model Rick Genest, also known 'Zombie Boy,' as the look to star in the label's Spring/Summer 2013 campaign. His ghoulishly striking urban youth presence may challenge your personal perception of zombies. Then there is the story about a government agency that is a great resource on survival information during a catastrophe, but no one was visiting its website. So the Center for Disease Control decided to take all of its information for surviving in a disaster and wrap it within the context of how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. The approach helped the agency to resuscitate its message and tap their existing fans to improve their online visibility.  
 
So this obsession with zombies is a trend, a recurring trend, that smart companies are using successfully to invigorate their brand message and get their customers to reconnect, turning "warm bodies" into "live bodies." Where would you use it?  
 

   

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About the Author
A marketing strategist, Marion Guthrie grows businesses by developing solutions for consumer engagement. Her mantra is, "Your customers are the best marketing department you can have."
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