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Small Agency Campaign of the Year, Integrated, Gold: 'Let the Slay Ride Begin,' Gnet for 'Dead Rising 4'

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The undead and Christmas made for a winning combo in L.A.-based Gnet's integrated campaign for offbeat zombie-game franchise "Dead Rising" from Capcom. With the tagline "Let the Slay Ride Begin," it promoted the series' fourth installment, which features hero Frank West taking on walkers in a Colorado mall during the holiday season.

The campaign capitalized on the game's humor and holiday theme. Gnet made it snow (with faux flakes) when the trailer dropped at the E3 video game conference, and an actor playing West then appeared at fan events like Comic-Con, as well as on various platforms, in an attempt to trigger social chatter. The efforts led to a 90% increase in Twitter followers, the agency said.

A highlight was the all-out "Dead Rising" holiday festival held during the 12 days between Black Friday and the game's launch date. It included a twinkling light spectacular in London that depicted slaughter scenes from the game; a downloadable Xbox Yule log film that showed crackling dismembered limbs in place of firewood; and carols composed of zombie groans.

There was also a Facebook Live stunt, Man vs. Holiday, which trapped actor-comedian Blake Anderson in a giant snow globe, where he played the video game while being subjected to holiday-themed tortures. More than 500,000 viewers saw the stunt in real time, the agency reported. It ultimately went on to capture 2.5 million views.

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