WILDLIFE Creates Viral Social Marketing Campaign and Spot to Launch WALKING DEAD Game

September 27th, 2015

LA-based digital agency Wildlife concepted and executed an innovative viral marketing campaign across multiple social platforms to launch The Walking Dead: Road to Survival mobile game – culminating with a broadcast spot created entirely in-house. Working with game publisher Scopely for Skybound Entertainment, Wildlife took the project from concept through execution, ultimately producing a no-holds-barred animated spot that is sure to entice fans of The Walking Dead series to download and play the new game. 

Leading to this was a groundbreaking viral campaign shrouded in mystery, in which Wildlife created and mailed out blood-splattered packages to unsuspecting fans, piquing the interest of The Walking Dead super-fan community. Props enclosed and clues on the back of polaroids led fans to a hashtag and a cryptic Instagram account – #WoodburyIsWaiting (@WalkingDeadRTS). Turning the Instagram platform on its head, Wildlife created a detailed Choose Your Own Adventure game through a network of hundreds of linked accounts. Fans who made the correct choices discovered a secret phone number with daily calls from a National Emergency hotline. Wildlife leveraged advanced phone technology so that soon the phone number started calling fans back, treating them to interactive calls from the iconic Walking Dead character, Lori Grimes.

As engagement and speculation spiked, fans were led to AreYouPatientZero.com where they continued to receive daily videos updates of the spread of the zombie apocalypse around the world. On launch day this website redirected fans to download The Walking Dead: Road to Survival mobile game.

The viral ARG campaign generated over 20 million impressions across Twitter and Instagram, the phone number was called more than 150,000 times and the mystery sparked intense conversation across Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and Walking Dead fan sites worldwide.

Beyond the scope of a traditional digital agency, Wildlife also produced a full-CG, 3D-character animated broadcast launch spot that would give fans an intense glimpse at the violent, life-or-death world of the game. Wildlife created a cutting-edge, graphic novel-inspired visual style that gives a nod to the gritty, comic book roots of the series to generate a visceral reaction. Post-apocalyptic tension drips off the screen with the rush and dread of the characters perfectly captured by the artfully rendered images.

Taking the narrative a step further, Wildlife called upon the Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken,” an iconic tie-in to the game’s title and the notion that every decision counts.  To lend the narration the power and intensity it needed to make an impact, Wildlife enlisted videogame icon Nolan North to record the voiceover.

Wildlife’s viral campaign & TV Spot were selected as Creativity’s Editor’s Pick. Check out the complete case study here.

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