When you’re a brand looking to keep audiences engaged during commercial breaks, how do you do that? To hire Ryan Reynoldssure.
Reynolds has proven himself to be a master at marketing, and it seems some brands have taken notice, turning to his production company Maximum Effort for help. This culminated in a genius marketing campaign that unfolded during the mass viewing for the season finale of The Walking Dead.
Reynolds worked with Autodesk, Deloitte, DoorDash, MNTN and Ring to create advertisements that tied their products to the show using actors who had been killed off in previous episodes. The characters of Milton Mamet (Dallas Roberts), Andrea Harrison (Laurie Holden), Rodney (Joe Ando-Hirsh) and Gareth (Andrew West) have been resurrected (a bit) to appear in adverts from the companies above in an effort joint between Maximum Hall of content from Effort and AMC Networks.
Dan Sandborn of Kimmelot (Jimmy Kimmel’s creative lab for television development and production) has also worked with companies by piecing together brand narratives.
The characters reappeared as zombies, creating some rather humorous situations, such as Rodney’s head commanding DoorDash and Gareth watching his relentless neighbors knocking on his door using Ring. By tying the promos to the show, it gave audiences an extra reason to keep watching and not tune out during breaks.
The five commercials were shot over two days, in two locations with Maximum Effort handling production while consulting Content Room, according to the production partners.
Speaking about the thinking behind the ads, Reynolds told Deadline that “ads should be fun.” He continued, “The Walking Dead has generated more cultural conversations over the past decade than any other property and we wanted to honor that by bringing back a few characters from the dead in fun pop-up ads,” adding that ads “can be part of the cultural conversation like once were so often. They just need a little more love, attention and mischief.
Reynolds knows how to bring mischief and fun to any project he’s working on, and he’s good at taking something that should be pretty gruesome and grizzly, and turning it into something humorous.
You can now stream the season finale of The Walking Dead on AMC Plus, seasons 1-10 are currently available on Netflix in many markets, with season 11 expected to join a few months later.