Zombies continue to be popular in commercials, pop culture

TWD3 _ Season 1 - Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz/AMC
TWD3 _ Season 1 - Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz/AMC /

The Walking Dead brought zombies to primetime, where they have dominated the airwaves for a decade. Lately, zombies are making a push into commercials.

Zombies have been used as metaphors over the years, from weary office workers to early risers before their morning cup of joe. They have also been used to highlight the importance of emergency planning and preparedness. Lately they’re popping up in commercials, signalling their continued presence in the cultural fabric and our collective imaginations.

With the ever-increasing advances in streaming services that offer commercial-free programming, companies are trying hard to capture viewer eyeballs with clever and catchy commercials. It’s a tale as old as time, really, as consumers historically have utilized commercial breaks for trips to the bathroom or to the kitchen for snacks.

Given that fewer people are watching commercials than ever before, marketing executives know that they need to pull out all the stops to keep viewers engaged. With the continued popularity of The Walking Dead and other zombie shows and movies, it’s no wonder that zombies keep appearing in commercials.

A zombie is used to demonstrate the benefits of Amazon’s Fire TV service that comes equipped with their proprietary voice-activated Alexa system. The zombie in question is wandering an abandoned neighborhood and spots a house that looks interesting. He goes inside and sit down before the television, only to lose an arm and an ear.

Fortunately, the voice command feature ensure he can still turn the channel and raise the volume thanks to Alexa.

Meanwhile, there’s a fun commercial set in the zombie apocalypse that comes courtesy of the good folks at Dunkin’. A couple turns on the television to the news that there is a zombie apocalypse in progress. Indeed, there are zombies surrounding their house.

Thankfully they have a supply of Dunkin’s famous coffee so they don’t need to venture out in the middle of the chaos.

There’s no question that zombies have come a long way over the years, and that’s due in large part to The Walking Dead bringing the undead into our living rooms on a regular basis. Once upon a time they were the stuff of nightmares, reserved for a special branch of horror films meant to instill terror into popcorn-eating audiences.

While Greg Nicotero and his effects team ensure that zombies are still scary as hell on the show, the survivors know how to deal with them after living among the undead for so long. The same can be said of television audiences, it seems, as zombies have become mainstream enough to appear in coffee commercials without making viewers jump with fright.

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What do you think about zombies being used in commercials? Let us know in the comments section, and be sure to watch the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead on February 23.