“We Want To Be Where The Eyeballs Are…”

…or so says Chris Fuller, director of public relations for PIZZA HUT. Today’s amusing NYTimes article: Marketers Work Around the Gore to Reach a Zombie Show’s Audience, describes the difficulties that several national advertiser have faced in creating commercial tie-ins with THE WALKING DEAD, AMC’s highly successful drama of survival in the wake of a zombie apocalypse, whose second season begins Sunday, October 16.

But how exactly does an advertiser promote their wares to consumers within the show where consumer culture has completely ceased to exist, and whose whose characters’ sole motivation is simply their own immediate survival? PIZZA HUT‘s solution to this dilemma was a contest tie-in hosted on Facebook.

In “The Walking Dead Trailer Mash-Up Contest” app now running through Halloween, consumers can choose from a collection of clips from the show, as well as graphics and music, to create their own trailer, with the potential of the winning entry airing during a commercial break for the show on Nov. 27.

Bing is offering this commercial and a sweepstakes. ©2011 NYTimes

BING, the two-year-old Microsoft search engine company, has also been struggling in their attempts to craft just the right type of commercial tie-in with THE WALKING DEAD.

According to today’s NYTimes article by Andrew Adam Newman,

“BING and the show have figured out [a] way to link arms. A new television commercial opens with a male and female zombie gnawing on a torn-off leg — the verisimilar gore by the same team that won an Emmy for prosthetic makeup effects on “The Walking Dead” — and then a director shouting, “Cut.”

As they sit down for a break, the actress, smiling flirtatiously, says to the other zombie, “You were really great in that scene. Very authentic!”

The male, though, does not break character or speak. The woman pulls up Bing on her smartphone and searches the phrase “dating an actor.” The man also pulls up Bing, but types in “EATING an actor.”

But having a zombie apocalypse tv show set in modern times turns out to be a good thing for car manufacturer HYUNDAI, who will feature their current Tucson model in the upcoming season’s episodes. Hyundai plans to give away the actual car featured in the show through a sweepstakes contest, giving the phrase “coming to a dead stop” a whole new meaning for one lucky winner out there.

Link to the full NYTimes article is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/11/business/media/product-placement-on-walking-dead-out-bing-finds-a-substitute.html?_r=1

Cross-posted to SciFi4Me.com

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