Zombies are all over the place these days — lurching toward us in TV shows, films and our collective imaginations. Now imagine if your escape from zombies depended on a reliable car battery.
However it may seem a stretch for Sears Auto Center and DieHard to enter the world of zombie culture, a new campaign is doing just that. “The Getaway,” a short video published on YouTube three weeks ago, became a 60-second TV spot during last night’s game on the NFL Network.
“The Getaway” is approaching 1.7 million views on YouTube now, and it’s that early success that encouraged the teams to quickly convert the 76-second video clip created by Y&R into a 60-second spot.
Greg Tedesco, vice president of digital engagement at Zeno Group, spoke with ClickZ on the eve of the commercial’s debut, to discuss the agency’s strategy for “The Getaway” and how it grew from a purely social play to a primetime TV buy.
“I cannot stress how exciting it was and how important it was to tie into the buzz around The Walking Dead,” Tedesco says. “We knew that people were following along this whole two-screen participatory approach. We wanted to tie into this buzz and just launching it three days prior to the premiere, by Sunday we had like 500,000 views. It’s just crazy, it absolutely took off. That is what gave us the great momentum.”
Once Zeno and Y&R huddled with DieHard, the turnaround from online video to TV commercial was done within a week. And most importantly, ready for Halloween night.
“We drove almost 12,000 different people from a small spend on Twitter for Promoted Tweets to the landing page to hopefully drive some sort of purchase intent of the battery,” says Tedesco.
“All the buzz, all the content from all these sites around the Internet, all the different blogs, mens lifestyle, sports, they’re all talking zombies right now to tie into the buzz around The Walking Dead. So we launched the video three days before the season premiere and it absolutely took off,” he continues.
While Tedesco laid out a plan to generate paid views, the earned media “completely trumped all that,” he says. In addition to the views on YouTube, DieHard has tracked more than 1.5 million earned page views to a microsite and almost 12,000 clicks from promoted tweets.
“Pending the success of tonight’s TV spot, if people are just going nuts about it, I believe we may want to put this in the rotation more frequently,” he says. The commercial ran three times during the Bengals-Dolphins game.
“Obviously we didn’t know this thing was going to take off to the point where they’d make it a TV spot,” Tedesco says. It just turns out, that 10 percent spend he saved for Halloween was able to drive excitement for a wider campaign on television and online.
YouTube is said to be preparing new non-video features that will allow content creators to interact with their viewers through photos, text posts, links and polls.
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