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Yes, the shutdown of the United States government is the big story today. But here’s something that won’t make you want to tear your own hair out: zombies warning Londoners about the dangers of tobacco.
This promo clip is part of a campaign run by for-profit online pharmacy HealthExpress in conjunction with “Stoptober”, an anti-smoking effort organized by the UK’s National Health Service (which is absolutely nothing like ObamaCare, so stop asking). We’d be more impressed if it were publicly funded or if the actors’ makeup were a little more convincing, but zombies are this year’s vampires so there you go.
The main point of this clip? If you smoke you’ll end up looking like an extra on The Walking Dead. Let’s just hope you can do a better job faking a Southern accent than anyone on that show.
It’s not just energy drinks, guys: A group of New Jersey schoolchildren started feeling a little too chill after consuming a few cans of Marley’s Mellow Mood, a beverage whose promoters call it “the anti-energy drink”. And where did they find this illicit substance with its “soothing style, natural ingredients and great taste”? In their middle school cafeteria, of course!
The blame for this completely unforgivable crime against humanity alternately rests with the company that stocks the cafeteria, the individuals who agreed to include the product on the school cafeteria list, and the students who decided to drink several cans of the “100% natural relaxation beverage” before reporting to the school nurse with symptoms of “nausea, headaches, light-headiness, and a feeling of lethargy.” One kid went so far as to call it “a zombiefest.”
All this from a lightly carbonated grape soda with the same ingredients as Celestial Seasonings’ SleepyTime tea? Hmm…
Parents are understandably outraged at the school for selling a drink whose label reads “…may cause drowsiness. Best enjoyed when you are ready to relax. Do not mix with alcohol. Not intended for children”, but we’re more interested in this product’s unique pitch. We’ve never come across a soda that claims to “reduce stress and relieve tension, while calming the soul and easing the mind”, and we have to say we’re shocked to learn that Marley’s Mellow Mood contains valerian root, lemon balm, passion flower, hops and chamomile–but no THC.
Now we feel like taking a nap, so we guess we’d have to call the promo campaign successful…
Today we say goodbye to the Twinkie: an object as important to the American childhood experience as popsicles, jumping through the spray of a lawn sprinkler (or open fire hydrant), scraped knees, bicycle training wheels, and believing that everything in life—from bumble bees to moon craters—was there just for you.
Sadly, that innocence is lost over time (more quickly for some than others) until ultimately we’re adults, blundering through the real world as heroes to the children we used to be. As adults we know everything is temporary. Everything dies. And today, adults of all ages mourn the loss of the Twinkie.
This is horrible, horrible news for the public. The Twinkie–famously known as the one packaged food that would never spoil if left unopened–will one day drop from our lexicon, destined to be known by no one on earth save for a few scholars who specialize in this bizarre period known as the present. Until then, however, it is important for us—the living—to acknowledge the Twinkie and its innumerable contributions to our society and our memories.
Invented in 1930 by baker James Alexander Dewar, the Twinkie originally had a banana cream-filled interior, until World War II when bananas were rationed and the maker, the Continental Baking Company, was forced to switch to vanilla cream. From its early years the Twinkie was already making great sacrifices for America, and it eventually wove its way deep into the fabric of our culture. Millions of children throughout the ensuing decades would be rewarded with Twinkies for good behavior.
Celebrity endorsements are par for the course during election season, and they generally tout the usual things about a famous person’s favorite candidate: that he or she will improve the economy, uphold social values, bring stability and security to the country, etc. But Joss Whedon, director of The Avengers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, takes his anti-Romney video in an entirely different direction. While he disagrees with Romney’s policy proposals, the real reason he doesn’t want Romney in the White House is that he’d rather not see the country (and the world at large) dissolve into the chaos and bloodshed of a zombie apocalypse.
How exactly does Whedon, a self-described Liberal, envision a Romney White House enabling hordes of the undead to wreak havoc on the country? Here’s how he sees it: “Romney is ready to make the deep rollbacks to healthcare, education, social services, reproductive rights that will guarantee poverty, unemployment, overpopulation, disease, rioting — all crucial elements in creating a nightmare zombie wasteland.”
In an apparent dig at Romney’s affluence, Whedon goes on to point out that “money is only so much paper to the undead. The one percent will no longer be the very rich; it will be the very fast.” But he does assure us that Romney is ready to “face a ravening, grasping horde of subhumans, because that’s how he sees poor people already.” Well, that’s a new take on Romney’s unfortunate 47 percent comment, isn’t it?
With only one more day before the election, we imagine Joss Whedon would urge you to watch the below video and consider the real issues at hand — not the economy or social values, but whether you have enough canned goods, weapons, and martial arts training to withstand the (potentially) impending zombie uprising.
Say what you will about AMC’s zombie drama “The Walking Dead” (slow plotting, community theater-level acting, not enough gore, yada yada), but the show’s marketing team certainly knows its way around a creative promo. The Season 3 PR blitz started two weeks ago with this (inevitable?) video of oblivious New Yorkers alternately shocked and amused by the coming zombie-ocalypse: