Magazine article Marketing

Campaign Casebook: Shaun of the Dead

Magazine article Marketing

Campaign Casebook: Shaun of the Dead

Article excerpt

UIP put zombies at the heart of urban life to support its unusual romcom. Claire Murphy reports

United International Pictures (UIP) used plenty of traditional media to support the release of 'zombie romcom' Shaun of the Dead, but some was decidedly unusual.

The film's theme was brought to life with 'zombie-infected' areas; actors dressed as zombies were driven around central London the Saturday before the film's release and told to break loose in areas of high traffic before being recaptured, herded into a zone and cordoned off with hazard tape.

'Staging these live events created a genuine pre-experience of the movie,' says Ollie Harwood-Matthews, head of village@zenithoptimedia, the agency that arranged the stunt. 'It has to be the most powerful way to communicate what Shaun of the Dead is all about.'

The campaign was designed to incorporate as many novelty media placings as possible to alert the attention of a young urban audience. Ads were booked in newspapers, magazines and TV, but these were the most traditional element of the campaign. Phone box activity showed zombies crowding around lead character Shaun (played by Simon Pegg), holding a phone, with the strapline 'The line is dead and so is everyone else'.

London Underground ads featured a similar visual concept, but this time Shaun and the zombies were rammed into a Tube carriage. The sites were bought in positions that would give the impression to anyone walking through the tunnels between platforms that the zombie carriages were on the tracks.

The spots were new for UIP - the company has a number of regular areas, but it was felt that the creative lent itself particularly well to the larger posters.

Places of interest

As there is a strong reliance on visiting the pub in the plot of the film, many ads were placed in drinking establishments. Glasses were printed with the slogan 'Dying for a pint' on the base and distributed to pubs.

Ads on beer mats and Hypertag posters, meanwhile, offered consumers the chance to download ringtones of zombie wailing by pointing their phones at a poster.

Space was booked on perimeter hoardings at Sweden's friendly football match against England on 31 March in Gothenburg. More relaxed laws governing outdoor advertising in Sweden meant that UIP could use hoardings incorporating flailing zombie-like arms.

A deal with radio station Xfm was a perfect fit for the film's target. …

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