In a train station, a bloody countdown
You see giant hands, ugly and gnarled, the hands of a zombie
February 7, 2013
In the large pantheon of alternative media stunts, this is one of the most disgusting.
And also one of the most effective.
On the floor in Union Station in Toronto, there sits a large sign. On the right and left of the sign there are two gigantic hands.
These aren’t regular hands, however. They’re hideous, gnarled by scabs and scars, and blackened with age. Bone and blood leak out of the hands at their bottoms, as though they’d just been hacked from an arm.
Worst of all, the diseased fingers on these hands keep falling off. A pile of them litter the floor.
The dropped digits are part of a macabre countdown, tallying the number of days until the return of the hit AMC zombie show “The Walking Dead.”
The sign between the hands reads, “Days left until it’s back,” over top of the words “Walking Dead.”
Every day one finger is removed and left on the ground as part of the countdown. It’s a genius way to remind people about the third-season debut, which comes Sunday.
The sign was placed in the station earlier this week. Six fingers have fallen off so far, and today there will be an additional piece to the stunt.
From 2 to 7 p.m., during the post-work rush hour, a gang of zombies will be on hand, chained to cinder blocks around the sign, mimicking imagery from last fall’s season finale and also presumably preventing the flesh-eaters from attacking nearby commuters.
The zombies will be handing out “Dead” T-shirts and reminding people of Sunday’s premiere.
The stunt works because it’s such a natural tie-in with the program. The countdown effectively makes people aware of Sunday’s premiere.
And the way it’s presented, with the revolting-looking hands, is a perfect encapsulation of the horror and humor that thread through every episode of “Dead.”
Plus Leo Burnett, the agency behind the stunt, is giving the countdown a second life on social media.
By tweeting the hashtag #twdfeb10 along with a picture of themselves with the hands, fans are entered into a drawing to win one of the severed finger.
As one person tweeted, the nubby thumb would make a perfect ottoman.
Tags: alt media, alternative media, alternative media stunts, amc, debut, media, people, Plus Leo Burnett, premiere, season finale, season premiere, social media, this week, today, train station, walking dead, walking dead severed fingers, walking dead toronto
CBS dominates a slow Thursday night
This month’s new media traffic data
The year that was: 2014 by the numbers
As other spending slows, digital surges
‘Galavant,’ ambitious but disappointing
As the year ends, Rachel reminisces
What will be the big media stories of 2015?
Best tube bets this weekend
Cable overnights: ‘Colbert Report’ surges
Networks: Hey, don’t let Aereo do that
Order from Amazon, get it in an hour
Survey: People trust the internet, for now
Vme TV airing Christmas marathon
- Helen Prokos becomes group creative director at Publicis Hawkeye
- James Florez becomes Dallas GM at Allison+Partners
- Robyn Hurd, Michael Oesterlin and Lorenzo Bertolotti join A+E
- Nate Lanxon becomes senior editor at Bloomberg Media
- Marian Bull becomes associate digital editor at Saveur
- Byron Pitts becomes co-anchor at ABC's 'Nightline'
- Annie Wersching joins CW's 'The Vampire Diaries'
- Daniel Wu joins the cast of AMC's 'Badlands'
- Ashley Tisdale guesting on ABC Family's 'Young & Hungry'
This month’s new media traffic data
This week’s cable ratings
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s top movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This week’s younger viewer ratings
Media buyer opening in Memphis
Media planner/buyer wanted in Boston
Needed: Digital media coordinator in Roswell, Ga.
Media buyer/digital strategist job in Cedar Falls, Iowa
Broadcast media buyer wanted in Denver