We partnered with AMC’s “The Walking Dead” to create a season-long campaign positioning the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 as a versatile tool for surviving the zombie apocalypse.
Airing during the premiere episode of AMC’s top-ranked, record-breaking show, our first spot was a Halloween-themed integration hinged on blurring the line between preparation for the zombie apocalypse and having your friends over to watch it happen on TV. This tongue-in-cheek approach required pulling out all the tricks in our lighting bag to shoot day for night and get the most out of our budget – capturing dark, dramatic action in the middle of a sunny day in New Jersey. With some subtle nods to The Walking Dead narrative sprinkled into the story, we ended up with something that both fans of the show and Surface Pro 3 enthusiasts would frenzy over.CHECK OUT THE RECORD-SETTING NUMBERS FOR THE SEASON PREMIERE
These Microsoft spots in certain episodes of “The Walking Dead” make more of a lasting impact on me than anything I see in the annual orgy of commercial excess known as the Super Bowl.
The next integration aired during the mid-season finale, just in time for the holidays. Fittingly, the creative for this vignette further played on blending the apocalyptic world of the show and the everyday life of its fans, drawing comparisons between the panic and mass hysteria of zombie plagues and holiday shopping. The timing of the show’s mid-season finale, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, created the perfect moment for our message, ensuring maximum effectiveness; and viewers took notice. Using the hashtag #myTWD, our spot also created an explosion of mentions and reactions on social media as consumers decided who they’d rather deal with – zombies or holiday shoppers.ALMOST 5 MILLION VIEWS ON TWD FACEBOOK PAGE ON APRIL FOOLS
For the final chapter in the trilogy, we focused on pulling off a great zombie-themed prank to coincide with the airing around April 1st. To create a running thread and connection for viewers, we brought our couple back for one last hurrah. Surviving the particularly cold climate of New York proved to be tougher than surviving a zombie attack (at least in our minds). Our original location fell to a busted water main, but we’re always prepared to make changes on the fly, and our backup house proved to be even better than we imagined. Our graphics team created custom Microsoft OneNote pages that were tracked and composited onto the Surface Pro 3 screen to show off the Wife’s elaborate “attack plan,” further integrating the device into the action.
Each spot in the campaign featured original BARK BARK scores and sound design to take the editing, direction and actor performances to the next level with custom music tailored just for this partnership.
These spots sparked conversations online, inspired discussion and commentary, and positioned Microsoft to be at the forefront of an effective year-long integration that carried over throughout the season – capturing the attention of a specific audience in ways that show they’re in the know.