Back in October, the folks doing the marketing for the remake of Carrie had a pretty fun idea for a cheap ad campaign. They went into a Manhattan coffee shop, set up some pulleys, hired some actors, and then scrared the crap out of other patrons by staging a telekinetic freakattack.
Did the stunt work? Kind of. People were certainly talking about the YouTube video, which went viral. However, it didn’t do much for the movie, which opened to $16 million and wound up grossing just $35 million on a $30 million budget.
Apparently that’s good enough for the producers of The Walking Dead, though. Yesterday they published their own prank video on YouTube, only instead of a telekinetic freakout it’s a bunch of people dressed as zombies and grabbing at New Yorkers from underneath subway grates. I was going to say it’s another example of viral or guerrilla marketing, but the folks over at Adweek called it prankvertising. So let’s go with that.
In any case, will this prankvertising work? I guess only time will tell. Season 4 resumes this Sunday, February 9, on AMC.