Cannes Lions

Zombie Prank

FOX INTERNATIONAL CHANNELS BRASIL, Sao Paulo / COCA-COLA / 2017

Case Film
Film
Presentation Image

Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Our idea was to give a "fake spoiler" featuring an alleged new character. In the previous season, there was a mysterious character, who wore emblematic boots, and whose face was not revealed. The expectation was that the new season would reveal who the character was and how he would affect the central story line. We presented our protagonist walking in boots, identical to those in the series. To make the prank work, we contextualized the movie within "The Walking Dead" using the post-apocalyptic scenario filled with zombies. The plot also respected the rules of the series’ universe such as the ability of the sound to attract zombies and the possibility of being overlooked by them when getting dirty of corpse blood. Since we showed the film between the marathon and the first episode, we needed to create a story that could entertain even the most loyal fans of the series.

Execution

The script and the art direction of the ad were designed to trick the audience. The beginning of the plot shows a moment of suspense and tension and the brand is only revealed towards the end. When it was aired, the brand's social network team was prepared to respond and interact with the fans who were commenting on the prank. In addition to the full version before the first episode, 15 and 30 second versions were created and were shown throughout the season during breaks for all episodes.

A version of the ad was made available to the show's fan clubs, who posted it on their profiles, helping to spread the content. Two extra ads of 15 seconds were created which showed the characters from the ad playing with the zombies and toasting with Coca-Cola. These versions were exclusively made for the digital environment.

Outcome

The first episode of the TWD season was the audience leader for Brazilian cable TV. It was 143% above 2nd place. In addition to the preview at the premiere, 30 and 15-second versions were aired throughout the season, for a total of 147 times and impacting over 20.6 million people.

Fans of the show created a MEME using the special format images and saying they were tricked by Coca-Cola. The MEME was posted on Facebook, reaching over 2.3 million people. The 3-minute version of the piece was posted on Facebook, reaching over 1.3 million people.

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