‘Mitch the zombie’ in the Honda Civic ad by RPA in Santa Monica



Zombies are everywhere. No, don’t panic. If there’s been a zombie uprising you would know about it by now, via Twitter. Or maybe you would already be a Zombie. No, I mean Zombies are everywhere on TV, with shows like US smash-hit The Walking Dead, in films, graphic novels, and advertising. Like its subject-matter, this is one trend that refuses to die. Here are our Top Five television adverts featuring the living dead.


1.    Axe Body Spray



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Tweaking the familiar selling point of the deodorant, that with one spray any man becomes irresistible to the opposite sex, this Halloween-timed ad for Axe by BBH shows that ‘even the walking dead come out smelling great with the Axe effect in play’. Also the first of several ‘zombie loses an arm’ gags on the list.



2.    ReachoutChallenge.com



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In this ad for ReachoutChallenge.com by John St., rampaging zombies stagger into a yoga class. Emerging some Downward Facing Dogs later, we see the class has restored them to life, one former zombie enthusing about how incredible she feels. High fives aren’t advised.



3.    Starburst



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There are two types of zombies in advertising: scary marauding zombies, as in the Axe and ReachoutChallenge.com ads, or zombies who look decomposed but act and talk like the living. You know that hangover feeling? This television spot for Starburst by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York features the latter type and is all about ‘juicy contradictions’: Starbursts are both juicy and solid, a Korean gentleman talks with a Scottish accent, and a zombie can be ‘bored to death’.



4.    Honda



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In this ad for the Honda Civic by RPA in Santa Monica, undead man-about-town ‘Mitch the zombie’ drives around with friends, hits the driving range (loses both arms), and chats up some girls in a bar. The ad is entitled ‘It’s good to be a Zombie’. And who’s going to argue with the undead?




5.    FedEx



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Classic Zombie ingredients. Retail store? Check. Heroic security guard in uniform? Check. Siege? Check. Postman? Che…What?! Yes FedEx really milked the comic potential of the Zombie genre with this high-production television campaign for the Asia Pacific region via BBDO Guerrero, directed by Prodigy’s Tim Bullock. FedEx saves the day by delivering the zombie vaccine, but judging by the junk food on the shelves, some indigestion tablets might equally have done the trick.




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