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
Meredith chops Ladies’ Home Journal
For magazines, it’s not all bad news
‘American Idol’ grows as Fox wins Wednesday
This month’s new media traffic data
Readers: No C7 during this upfront
Fact: We now use the web more than TV
May’s five biggest sweeps stunts
So tell us, which network will win May sweeps?
‘Relative Insanity,’ totally inane
For NBC’s Thursday, an early close
Cable overnights: New high for ‘Chrisley’
The word: FCC guts net neutrality rules
USA’s summer lineup: ‘Pains’ and ‘Affairs’
- Mike Goller becomes group brand director at 72andSunny
- Jack Tarantino and Elvia Van Es Oliva join TLC
- Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman exiting
- Christopher Mims becomes tech columnist at Wall St. Journal
- Mitzi Miller becomes editor in chief at Ebony magazine
- Jane Keltner de Valle becomes fashion news director at Glamour
- Constance Sayers Witherspoon and Tom Shoop rise at Atlantic Media
- Felix Salmon becomes a senior editor at Fusion
- Chris Rovzar joins Bloomberg to develop new luxury news product
- Francis Pizzani becomes director of sales at Yangaroo
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
Senior digital media planner job in L.A.
Media planner position in Dallas
Needed: Senior digital media buyer and planner
Expert marketing consultant available in all markets
Media buyer/planner job in Philadelphia